12 September, 2012

Mommas: Some Solicited Advice Please

Anyone who's ever been engaged or pregnant knows a thing or two about unsolicited advice. Well, here's your chance to offer me some advice that I'm actually asking for! ;)

Alright, first of all, let's talk breast pumps. I know I want an electric breast pump, but I have no idea what kind. Is Medela really the best? Should I get a double pump (that's what I'm leaning towards)? What else should I be looking for? I've been looking at these two: the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature double electric pump and the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. Have you used either of these? Or something else? Thoughts? Are there any breast pumps that you would suggest I stay away from?

And besides strollers, car seats, cribs, and swings, what were your number one, can't-live-without-them baby items? And what were the items you thought you needed but hardly used?

Thank you in advance!!


  1. I loved the swaddle me. I am convinced it helped my son sleep through the night as an infant.

    Things like bottle warmers and the diaper genie are a waste IMO.

    Also newborn size clothing and diapers because they grow out of it so quickly.

  2. I have a Medela Pump n style advanced. I've used it for a year, it works fine and I've never had to get it repaired or anything. It's nice that accessories are easy to pick up at target. I don't know how you're planning on storing milk but I found the lansinoh bags to be a lot nicer than the medela ones (they can store 5 oz. which is convenient).

    A bouncy seat is my can't live without item, they're great if you want to start dinner or take a shower and you're home with the baby by yourself, or if you want to eat a meal without holding the baby. I didn't have a swing though, so maybe if you have a swing you wouldn't need a bouncy seat.

    My wish I didn't get it item is the boppy pillow. I only used it once or twice because I found that I liked to nurse with my legs up on a footstool or the couch and then my legs supported baby like the bobby would have and I felt like it was just in the way.

  3. I can't speak to the breast pump thing because I never quite figured that out... But I can tell you that I very rarely used the changing table and could have easily done without it. I wish so much that I had had one of those beautiful, comfy looking slings to carry him around. He wanted to be held all the time but we both hated the Baby Bjorn. Every mom I know seems to have been very grateful for their swing right around 6 months (give or take). It's a naptime maker.

  4. I have the Medela In Style Advanced and it really is great. Easy to use, easy to keep clean... it's fine as long as you don't plan on sharing the pump with anyone else.... since it's an open system you really should only use it for you. I honestly hated pumping, but without it I would have had to give my son formula in the first six months and that stuff is EXPENSIVE!. And be warned, it takes much longer to pump what the baby needs than it does to just give it to the baby on demand, but it really can be a life saver! Especially for having a little extra supply that you can freeze and save later for baby! I was able to get mine at the hospital tax free from a lactation consultant so you might want to look into that! Also, VIDEO MONITOR. Everyone told me, "I know they are expensive, but they are SO worth it!" So we registered one and I told my husband that if we didn't get it as a gift we'd get an old fashioned one. We ended up receiving it as a gift and I am so glad we did. There will come a time when the baby will fuss or cry and you really only want them to see you if necessary... your mind will be able to rest assured because you can see the baby at any time and (for me) it was great because my son always fusses himself to sleep and I need to be able to see if he has spit up in his crib (spits up a lot). Plus, when they are toddlers, you can watch them while they nap and make sure they don't smear their poop on the walls (true story... this happened to a good friend of mine!) I think that's all.. if I think of more I will share... Oh! This teether...


    a lot of moms I know say this is the only teether their baby loves... and it's true for my son!

  5. Go with Medela! That's the brand that even most hospitals choose, and every momma I talk to has used a Medela pump.

  6. I know we don't know each other but I've been following you for awhile. I'm so excited for you and your new little one!!!
    I have a seven month old and have been breast feeding and pumping at work. I bought the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump. I did a lot of research and this is the one I decided on, a big reason was because it compared to the medela but it was cheaper. I would definitely recommend a double electric just because it is easier and faster. Pumping isn't the funnest thing to do and any thing that makes it faster and easier is best. My friend has breast fed both of her kids to a year and worked full time, she used a medela and she really liked it. I think either is a good choice. You also will probably want a hand pump for those times when you get too full and the baby can't latch, or when you don't want to break out the big pump.

    My number one baby item was a boppy breastfeeding pillow. It was the best in the early months and I still use it now during our nighttime feeding. Another must have for me was a swaddle me blanket it saved our lives in the early months. Also if your looking for a good book I recommend "Happiest Baby on the Block".

    Hope my advice can help, and good luck with the new little one, it is life changing and so amazing!!!

  7. I had the Medela Swing pump. It's half the price as the double and much more portable. It pumps one breast at a time. I decided to get the single because I wanted to be able to have a hand free to read magazines while I was pumping. :) I didn't pump full time, I nursed my daughter and pumped while I worked part time. If I had been working full time I think I would have gotten the double for the sake of time. :)

    My go to baby item that I loved was the sleep sack's that have the swaddle feature. My kids loved being swaddled and when they start to get bigger, a lot of the swaddles are easy to get out of. This one was awesome!


    Also, I'm very pro binky/pacifier. If you can give your child something that soothes them, it makes like easier. I took away my kids binky's right before they turned two and after they turned one they could only have them in bed and in the car on long car rides. Their teeth are fine. I've babysat kids that don't have a binky or anything and it's miserable to try to soothe them because sucking is kind of all they have going on for them at a young age.

    You're going to be a great mom!

  8. Medela is common. My sister in law used medela and pumped exclusively (her baby doesn't latch) and it seems to work. That been said, another friend of mine recently gave birth and used medela pump.. only was able to pump a few teaspoon each time. Then i lent her my ameda and she was able to pump more and build her milk supply. The reason why we chose ameda electric double pump was that my husband said, through research, that medela pump could potentially have milk back flow into the motor whereas the ameda design won't allow that to happen. BUT, it seems that the medela is more common and may be easier to buy replacement parts. However, we didn't have any problems finding parts for our ameda. And yes, definitely electric double pump.

    One thing that i would high recommend is this changer (http://www.babysmartusa.com/changer.asp). It's super convenient. The material it's made from allows you to just throw it in the bath tub and rinse it out if your baby pees or poos on it (and we had that happen so many times, especially poo...). I think it might be easier than the change tables that require you to wash the cover in the washing machine...etc.

    I always read your blog and never comment, but can i just say, i'm so excited for you and your husband :)

  9. okay, I have the Medela pump that you're looking into and loved it. the only thing I didn't like, was not having a free hand while pumping because I had to use both hands to hold the cups/cones/whatever-they're-called in place. but the power was great and I loved the bottles, nipples and storage bags that Medela makes. all in all, I think it was a great purchase.

    as for something that I just thought I had to have...maybe those mesh things that you can put a piece of orange (or other fruit) into and the baby chews on the mesh part so they really only get the juice and you don't have to worry about choking. my little guy never liked them, ever. and it was just a waste of money. but you never know, your baby might find them the best thing ever.

    also!! I couldn't get enough of the lansinoh breast pads in the 60-pack. and the reason I mention the 60-pack is because they are different than the 30-pack. the larger amount seem to be contoured better and have a better backing for staying in place. and, target generally has them on sale and I would stock up on three or four boxes at once because you never know how many breast pads you might need. c:

  10. I have the Medela Pump in Style double and love it! My only advice is that you wait till after the baby is born to decide if you really need it. It's great to have to get your milk supply in quicker, however if you're not going back to work or won't need to do much bottle feeding it might be a little unnecessary. Ivy had a hard time breastfeeding so I wished I had my own breast pump-- I actually just rented it for about $70/month from a local breastfeeding place. I ended up buying my pump right before Lola was born-- and she won't really take a bottle. So when I pump every morning it's more for my own sake rather than Lo's. I just freeze the milk and hope I use it later in rice cereal or something. (A lot of times I sneak it in Ivy's sippy cups or cereal.. SHH!!!;) What I'm getting at is every baby and Mom is different so you might want to wait before you drop the $300. :)

    Same thing for swings/bouncers/etc. Ivy hated her swing, and we actually almost got rid of it-- but so glad we didn't cause Lola loves it. Neither of my girls loved the boppy, and both of them love the aiden blankies. They're perfect for swaddling and warm temperatures.

    ALSO! Even if you have a jogger or stroller, I think everyone should have a snap n' go. I just REbought another yesterday cause I'm going on a trip in a little bit and didn't want to lug around my double. They're amazing for traveling and tiny and cheap.

    Okay, now that I've given you all my (relatively unhelpful!) advice. :) GOOD LUCK! Can't wait to see that cute little girly.

  11. Love using my Pump in Style. I highly recommend buying a bunch of the bottles to pump into, the freezer bags are expensive and you can re-use the bottles.:)

    Someone mentioned nursing pads. I LOVE these : http://www.amazon.com/green-sprouts-Wickaway-Breast-White/dp/B004K6LMV6/ref=sr_1_2?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1347559186&sr=1-2&keywords=nursing+pads
    they work really well, and do not stink (I've tried a few different types and found others to smell bad after a days wear). Easy to wash and WAY better that buying boxes and boxes of disposable pads. (better for the earth too!)

    best thing I still use for my 6 month old is an app on my phone where I keep track of his feedings. Find one, this is a LIFESAVER!

    Also, in the first few months, if you have a swaddling blanket that has velcro http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Cotton-Swaddleme-Medium/dp/B003JHYDIQ/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1347559368&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=swaddling+blanket
    these were so great and easy to use :)

    Best of luck with the arrival of your little one!

  12. If you do go with the Medela electric double pump (In Style Advanced) Medela (and many other places) actually makes a bra that will hold the pump up for you so you can pump hands free!

  13. I didn't breast feed so can't help with that. Alexa loved the bouncer seat, jumper, bumbo, big swaddle blankets from target. Video monitor still use mine love it, we loved having the baby carrier or sling or allowed me to still do stuff when Alexa wouldn't let me put her down, diaper genie. Things I didn't use or could have lied without, wipe warmer. Bottle warmer, walker, travel wipe warmer. I would say don't get much in way of. Newborn clothes Alexa oiled in onesie all newborns do is eat, sleep so no need to dress up just seething that is easy to change. Oh and Alexa loves a sou d machine with nature noises. Woo sleep sheep travel size love that. Ok think that's it.

  14. oh, i forgot to mention that i LOVE the aden + anais swaddling blankets (you can find them at target). they were the perfect size for my big baby boy and we still get lots of use out of them (and he's 17-months-old today!). they're super lightweight so they didn't overheat him when he was wearing his fleece footie pajama's in the wintertime and they were the perfect size for breastfeeding in public (not to mention i didn't end up sweating because they were so lightweight.)

  15. I have that exact pump and let me tell you it is amazing! I used a single one and a manual and seriously the double is just so muh easier and less time consuming. I know wIC will give you one for free if you qualify and don't use formula.

    My four favorite things when my kids where babies were:

    Nursing cover. Nursing took awhile to get used to but I can't tell you how easy and nice it was to be able to just bring a small piece of fabric instead of filling bottles and measuring formula. My kids were both squirmy so the cover worked great for me instead of a blanket that they could (and did!) easily pull off.

    Baby sling. We had a Bjorn, a moby and a sling and the sling was the easiest. No fuss, no buckles and it felt more natural. The Bjorn came in handy a lot too but I always preferred the sling. I almost never used the moby.

    Sound machine. It was a lifesaver with both my kids since we were in a small apartment. It helps soothe them, and it muffles out other unwanted noise like us watching tv in the room next door or the neighbors party downstairs.

    They also have these timers in one clock that you click when you nurse or thy start a nap or whatever )they usually have 5) and it is an easy way to keep track of how long it's been since you fed the baby or how long he has been napping, etc. this helped me do much thru the sleep deprivation absent mindedness.

    So excited for you! Hope this helps!

  16. Also I agree with Aden and anais swaddling blankets. My kids always got out of the velcro ones and the a and a ones are lightweight and the perfect size for swaddling.

    I Forgot to mention too the nursing pillow. I didn't use it a lot at first but once they got heavier I used it all the time. Especially during the nighttime feeding where I was too tired to hold my arms up for half an hour.

  17. One tip that really was awesome in the hospital is a noise machine to use while you room-in with your baby. It's so great for soothing your new little one and makes the room feel very womb-like. It also drowns out all the loud hospital noises like beeps and busy hallways full of loud people. We also requested that they put a note on the door telling people that no one could enter except family or nurses without checking in at the nurses station first. This kept hospital staff from just barging in at all hours. Before we put the note up it seemed like the whole hospital was coming in there and we really wanted rest and privacy.

    The item that I loved for both of my babies that is a small luxury item is a wipey warmer. It was so nice to have warm wipes in the middle of the night so that my baby didn't get startled with late night diaper changes.It's soothing and sweet on their little bottoms.

    If you plan on breastfeeding the book-"The Nursing Moms Companion" in excellent and was my "go to" book for trouble shooting an issues with nursing. It also has a great guide in the back that lets you know how much milk a baby's tummy needs at each age. It was comforting and a great recourse to have.

    Last but not least, a comfy glider is a must have in the nursery. With my first son, I used an old rocking chair that my mom gave us. Big mistake! You will be spending a lot of time in whatever chair is in the nursery so make sure that it's plush and comfy for mama. Make sure that the back is tall enough so that you can rest your head on it so that you can relax while you rock otherwise, your sleepy head will bob with no place to land when you do late night feedings. I invested in a swanky glider and it was worth every single penny.

    Sorry that I wrote a novella here.

  18. I'm so glad you asked for advice! I need ideas too! (due March 19)

  19. Our bottle warmer was one of those things that we could've gone without- just put your bottle in a bowl of hot water! The boppy pillow could've been left out, too- a regular pillow works almost better. For the price & quality, the medela is probably the best deal! Also, the Johnson breast pads are definitely the best- I've tried them all and these ones stay put and conform to your ladies. :)

    I cannot wait for you to experience motherhood. It is the most beautiful thing you will have ever experienced!!!

  20. hi lady! items I couldn't live without with Matilda - Aden & Anais swaddling blankets!!! we STILL use them, and she is over 2. I'm stocking up for this next one! I also loved my boppy, and found it nice even when she started sitting on her own - I could push her little bum into the hole section and didn't have to worry if she flopped over because she would just land on the boppy! Also, some form of carrier. I used a moby wrap DAILY until M was 4 months, and now have an Ergo (best carrier IMO) and a ring sling! I STILL carry M in the Ergo and ring sling - can actually wear the Ergo for long hikes without my back or hips starting to hurt!

    As far as a diaper trash can - we used a Diaper champ, because you can put whatever kind of trash bag in there that you want, which works well with cloth diapering! I was able to put a wet bag in there and then just take the whole thing out and dump it in the wash.

    Also, had a Lansinoh double pump at first and someone gave me a Medela - it worked SO MUCH BETTER. definitely worth the investment if you want o pump too!

    I'm sure I will think of more, but those were my favorites!

  21. I have the breast pump you mentioned and it's great. I personally hate pumping, but it's something I have to do. I already told you I can't live without the swaddleme, as well as a sound machine that makes white noise. And a good video monitor changed my life. I felt like I could be in another room and not worry about Violet. <3

  22. Sorry, I have the Medela one (you mentioned two). Oh, and Violet hates her swing. Just takes up a lot of room! ;)

  23. If you don't want to fork out the cash, a lot of hospitals rent out Medela pumps, and will give you brand new part kits for free. I would definitely recommend talking to your doctor to see if that is available to you. Double pump is the way to go. Might as well do both at the same time rather than have to take twice as long to get the job done.

  24. One thing I loved having when Nova was little, was a bouncy seat! One thing I never used with her was a baby bath tub, sink baths work great...I took baths with her. I loved it! I would have liked to have some type of carrier or wrap. I know with my next one, I will get a lot of use out of it. Especially since we just moved to San Francisco, baby wearing just seems so much easier. Congratulations on your little bundle of love! I hope the rest of your pregnancy and birth go well. xox

  25. I just had my second (he's 2 1/2 weeks!)...and I was able to get a breast pump through my insurance for 60 days due to insufficient supply. Unfortunately for me, I don't produce enough breast milk to sufficiently feed my babies, but the pump helped bring my milk in faster and allowed me to give at least a little bit of breast milk to both my babies in the first few weeks. Because of my insufficient supply, I didn't pump long term (2 weeks) because we still did about 95% formula even when I was pumping/nursing. All that to say, I would wait on that purchase since it's so expensive. Make sure you are able to breastfeed, you need to pump (working, school, baby doesn't latch, etc), and you can't get a good deal through your insurance and/or hospital. Hospitals should have them available for you to use while you're there too to help bring in your milk if needed.

    Didn't use: wipe warmer, bottle warmer, boppy (pillows work better in my opinion and are already around the house), swaddle blankets (my kiddos HATE being swaddled)

    Couldn't live without: Bumbo seat (starting at about 4 months), bouncer (again about 4-5 months), napper/rocker (came with our Graco Pack n Play...only way our daughter would sleep on her back), cool mist vaporizer (we use it as white noise and has the added benefit when she's sick too), stuffed animal with heartbeat (we still use it for our 1 year old as a rhythmic sound for falling asleep).

    General advice: every baby is different! So what one momma couldn't live without, you may never use and vice versa. Pick up big items at a second hand store or try to borrow from someone to see if it will be something you'll end up using before spending big bucks (and taking up space!). My daughter wore newborn sized clothing for 2+ months...my son was too long from birth so he's in 3 month clothing.


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