Sat | May 25, 2019

Top 10 items for expectant mothers

Published:Tuesday | May 7, 2019 | 12:43 PMLatara Boodie - Gleaner Writer

Expecting your first baby is an amazing and exciting experience. This is the time where each day of baby's growth in the womb is a fascinating journey of much physical change, funny cravings and for some, persistent nausea and fatigue. Every pregnancy is always a unique experience, differing mother-to-mother and often from child-to-child, even for the mother who delivers more than once.

For Tina Marie Williams, having given birth to three children, she has accumulated a bank of knowledge with each new baby.

"The early days are not exactly like riding a bicycle, as every birth story is different and each child, no matter if all from one mother's womb, has their own unique first days of life," she explained.

The great news about becoming a mom for a second, third or fourth time around, is finding items, classes and parenting hacks that can help make the long nights a little more comfortable and the busy days of motherhood a bit more efficient. Here are Williams' top 10 favourite items that she recommends for new moms.

"These were the best gifts received and the best buys made during my parenting journey".

1. Travel formula dispenser and hot water travel flask

Okay, so this is two items in one but they really do go together! If you decide to supplement with formula for your baby and you are on the go, the travel dispensers are a dream. It is fast, less bulky than traveling with the full can of formula and also helpful when your baby is with a caregiver. The hot water flask is to carry the warm water to mix the formula for your baby and can be used to wash the bottle nipple if touched accidently by unwashed hands.

2. Dr Brown’s bottles

She recommends Dr Brown’s because of the vent feature that reduces the amount of air bubbles that the baby can swallow, reducing colic, heavy spit-up and gas, which is terribly uncomfortable for newborns and infants. These bottles are BPA free and come in a variety of colours.

3. Puj bath

The Puj bath tub is a bit of a splurge that is well worth the investment. The Puj bath keeps baby up and closer to you as you bathe him/her, because the bath is placed in the sink. It results in less tears while bathing, because the design keeps the water covering the baby while he or she is laying back comfortably. It is also very light and easy to fold for travel to use on vacation or overnight at grandma’s house. The Puj can be used until the baby is four to six months old, depending on the size of your child.

4. Eucalyptus oil

Newborns may get stuffy or catch a draft from time to time. Williams advises the use of natural products to remedy their discomforts where possible. Keep a small bottle of eucalyptus oil at home and dab a tiny amount on the baby’s forehead or on their mole area during the night. By morning, the stuffy nose is clear, restoring comfortable breathing.

5. Bibs in bulk

You can never have enough bibs for your baby. Cloth bibs are needed in the early weeks and months to be used to catch spit up, doubling as a burb cloth, keeping you and your baby’s chest clean dry. Once the infant begins with cereals and pureed food, keep bibs with plastic backing or fully plastic on hand to keep clothes clean and stain free.

6. Classic book collection: Good Night Moon and Love You Forever

Prior to birth, I would read these to my children and of course thereafter during the day and when rocking them at night. Reading to your baby in the womb is recommended to help the child build emotions and bond with you thanks to familiarity with your voice.

7. Muslin swaddle blankets

The muslin blankets are usually generous in size, super breathable, extra soft after each wash and can even be used for coverage while nursing.

8. Change pad with cover

Months after having your first baby you will soon realise how a stationary change table is not too convenient. If you live in a home with multiple levels or if you are primarily in other areas of your home with your baby, it would be very wise to have a changing pad with fabric cover which is portable and less of an investment.

9. Video monitor

The investment in a video baby monitor has many advantages. It gives you the ability to rest easier at night without having to get up at every sound the baby makes. It helps with safety and finally, some advanced video monitors have features that can link to your phone or computer and can be doubled as a nanny or caregiver cam.

10. MedelaSwing breast pump

We have all heard that the ‘Breast is best’, urging mothers (who can) to exclusively provide breastmilk to their child for the first six months of life. Williams' recommends to invest in a breast pump that is either manual or electric. When you pump your milk, it allows time for dad or other family to help with feeding and to bond with the child.

There you have it, the top 10 recommended items when expecting. Enjoy the arrival of your newborn and I hope the advice and parenting hacks shared, help to make navigating the early days of parenthood much easier.

Raising Jamaicans is an online village lead by Tina-Marie Williams. It is the trusted source for finding kid-focused programming, activities, family-friendly events and parenting information with an international perspective. Join the ‘Village of parents Raising Jamaicans’ by following @raisingjamaicans on Instagram or visit www.raisingjamaicans.com

latara.boodie@gleanerjm.com