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10 things new expecting parents should buy before baby arrives

We didn’t want to fall into the trap that most new parents do, buying many frivolous or hardly useful things (hello, diaper bins) so we thought it would be better to do the shopping after Liam has arrived. Bad decision.

Truth is, once the baby’s here, there’s simply no time. Especially for us as we do not have help. So for the benefit of those who are going to be parents soon, here are 10 things that you should really get before the baby comes because when he or she does, you’d need those things, NOW.

1. Double breast pump machine.

Trust me, just straight away get a double breast pump, the very best that you can afford. This is because if you used a single pump, you are basically setting yourself up to fail. Strong words, but I am not kidding you.

You need to get both your breasts up to speed, and trust me, oh my gawd, trust me you won’t have the sweet time to pump one breast after another. Imagine pumping 20 minutes for leftie, then baby cries, then diaper change then who knows what…before you realised, rightie is on the way to The World of Pain aka Clogged Milk Ducts.

So, don’t doubt yourself and just get that double pump. I’m talking a saving of up to 20 minutes per pump session!

p/s: Pumping milk is not a hands-free activity unless you got the rare hands-free pump so look into investing in hands-free bra which will hold the pump bottles in place. Mine is just an old bra with two holes cut out :)

# – My double pump. I’ve also made a pumping station in my study so I can still work and pump at the same time.

2. Swaddling cloths.

We were lucky that swaddling cloths were given to us as gifts. They are the most versatile and useful things ever. Besides keeping your baby calm in a swaddle, you can use it in so many other ways. Rolled up to prop baby up, for wiping down stuff (you’ll be wiping a lot of stuff), as a blanket, folded as cloth diaper, to keep your boobs out of sight in public while breastfeeding…and so much more.

# – No peekaboo with swaddling cloth.

3. Breastfeeding-friendly bottles.

I know some mothers are hell-bent on exclusively breastfeeding their babies. I felt the same way too, until I started the actual breastfeeding. You will be surprised by the suction power of little babies……raw nipples, hello? The first 2 weeks of breastfeeding was the most painful, shocking and stressful time for new mommies. Nobody told me that!

In order to maintain your own sanity (so that you can be in the best state of mind for your little one), get bottles so that your husband or helper could feed your baby with your expressed breastmilk. There are many breastfeeding friendly bottles in the market now that will make it easy for babies to transition back and forth from breast to bottle easily so get those.

# – Also, fathers can bond with babies during bottle feeding.

4. Steriliser bags or bottle steriliser.

You will be sterilising, A LOT. Of course you can use the traditional way of using boiling water, only if you’re a cheapskate with loads of time. What works for us are microwaveable sterilising bags. Wash, stick in bag, nuke for 3 minutes and voila…sterilisation, done.

# – We love these sterilising bags.

5. Bottle drying rack.

After sterilisation, there must be a place for the bottles, various attachments and knick-knacks to dry out. Otherwise you’d have to resort to using an oven rack with a kitchen towel on top of it #truestory

The fact is, those baby things need to dry out because as a first time parent, you’d find yourself asking a variation of these questions and then freaking out – (1) Are condensation safe for my baby’s consumption? (2) How much germs are in these condensation? (3) Will the milk taste bad mixed in with condensation? (4) Are water marks safe? (5) How much germs are in these water marks? And so on……

For seasoned parents, the answers are probably “Yes”, “A lil germs are good”, “No”, “Yes” and “A lil germs are good”, but if you’re a first-timer…the answer would be a definite “Not sure” for all. So yeah, get a drying rack and save yourself from delving into insanity.

# – Our bottle drying rack, another fantastic gift from dear friends.

6. Breastmilk storage bags.

As you should be expressing milk as soon as the baby’s born, getting milk storage bags are important because you’d start using them pretty early on. If you saw them on discount, GET EVERYTHING ALL because they run out pretty quickly once you start to get em boobs milking.

Also, a tip I learnt from Ringo, store the milk flat in the bag because then they will stack nicely in the freezer otherwise they look like the picture below lol. I was determine to maximise the space in storage bags but realised that buying more milk bags are way cheaper than buying extra freezer space, even in the long run!

# – My milk supply, in their bags.

7. Breast pads.

As soon as you begin expressing milk, your breasts will leak at whatever opportunity they get. Breast pads will save you that embarrassment of being caught with two large wet patches on your chest in public.

Don’t worry this will pass but it will happen while you are still nailing down your pumping/breastfeeding schedule.

# – Breast pads. There are cheap and also expensive ones…your breasts can’t tell the difference because they’re too sore to begin with #truestory

8. Infant car seat

This was in fact the very first thing we bought knowing we have to bring the baby back in car from the hospital. This is safety, so take time to research and make the best purchase before baby arrives.

# – By the way, babies love car rides. You will be thankful for your infant car seat when there’s nothing else that could soothe your crying bub.

9. Baby carrier wrap.

We didn’t get this until 1.5 months after Liam’s born but boy I wish I had bought it much earlier. What a lifesaver! This piece of unassuming fabric has returned so much freedom and time back to me cause babies will cry and fuss when you need both your hands the most.

Now I can blog, eat and do other things while still having my son strapped to my chest receiving the best of kangaroo care :)

# – Making sandwiches with Liam in the wrap. He loves it in there.

10. Nursing tops

I made the mistake of thinking that it’s okay to shop for nursing tops once my son has arrived. Stupid, stupid mistake. Now that he’s here, I can’t even peel myself away to take a dump, let alone to shop?

So, do the shopping before baby pops because honestly, the general selection of nursing tops on offer are incredibly hideous and overpriced so it will take you some time to find something that doesn’t make you both broke and looking like a frumpy mom. If all else fails, buttoned-down shirts and long tube dresses are your best friends.

# – This is basically a cropped tank with a long tube dress underneath. You can pull the tube dress down to breastfeed while having the tank discreetly covering your bits. I NEED MORE LONG TUBE DRESSES!

So there, my list of must-buys for new parents before the baby arrives. I suppose this would probably make a good guide for people buying presents for new parents too.

Fellow parents, anything else you think should make the list?

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Spotted at 14 weeks 2 days.

8am. My alarm rang. Far too early!

I nudged the husband who was still fast asleep. He woke up just long enough to murmur something unintelligible. I said, “Check-up today…..”. Still, murmurs.

I decided to let him continue sleeping. Made my way to the hospital, which is only 10 minutes drive from home.

The doctor wasn’t my regular obgyn. She’s some kind of detailed scan expert, very nice lady. Greeted me with a firm handshake and a smile, I loveeeeeeeeee women who are in control.

I got onto the examination bed and pulled my skirt down a little. Spider legs greeted my eyes, made a mental note to shave.

She squeezed cold gel onto my lower abdomen and stuck the scanning thingamajig onto my skin.

“You want to know the gender?”, she asked.

“Yes please!!”

But doctor was totally delaying my gratification. First, she showed me the baby’s skull and heart, could even see the heart chambers! Then she showed me the neck, fingers and toes.

# – Baby!
baby

Finally, she showed me the private bits. “Can you see the triangle?”

“Yeah….”

“Congratulations, you’re having a boy.”

“Really?”

“Yes, 100%. In fact I will give you 101%”

# – Dudu at 14 weeks 2 days.
dudu

So happy to hear the news. While I wish Gareth was with me to hear it, but I think it’s a different good feeling to hear it by myself. Kind of like my own moment with the baby :)

I called Gareth immediately. He was still a bit groggy. I told him that we’re having a boy, and I must say the effect was better than a shot of espresso hehe.

Have we thought of a name? Yes. In fact, we’ve got 3 boy’s names and 2 girl’s names down since a couple of years ago, way before we were even planning to have babies.

We thought if it didn’t work out we could give them names to our dogs. Kidding!!!!

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The day we found out.

This was written on  2.40am on 27 January 2014. I was sitting on my toilet bowl, emptying my bowel for the umpteenth time.

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7 days ago on the morning of 20 January 2014. All those haziness, emotions, fatigue, sore breasts, suspicions and violent belly gas in the past weeks had culminated into a strong urge to head to the pharmacy.

I walked in, asked the pharmacist for folic acid. She asked me back, “For pregnancy?”.

“Hurm, guess so.”

“Ah…for pre-natal. Just one second”, she said.

She passed me a box with ‘FOLIC ACID’ brightly emblazoned across it.

“Take one a day, that’s all you need”.

I could have walked straight out. I could have walked straight to my car and driven home. But I didn’t.

Instead, I grabbed two boxes of ClearBlue. I was familiar with the contraption, having used it a couple of weeks ago when I suspected I was with child.

I paid up for my goods. While walking to the car I felt suspiciously eyed on. Felt like I was doing something naughty. What a weird feeling!

As soon as I reached home, I ripped open a box of ClearBlue and peed on it. And then I waited for what seemed like an eternity.

Pregnant.

I waited a little bit more.

It still said, “Pregnant”.

I smiled. I ran up to our bedroom, flung the door open to my sleeping husband.

“Boober!”

He roused and rubbed his eyes.

“Hur?”

I couldn’t speak. I was smiling so hard, pee covered stick in my hand.

I turned on the lights and looked straight into his eyes, still smiling.

Then he noticed the stick in my hand. “Pregnant?”

“YES!!!!”, I roared.

And then I jumped right into his open arms and we hugged for the longest time.

We had a look at the stick again, by now it was showing how far a long I was; 3+ weeks.

image

We felt so good, so happy, so at peace because we know we are 100% ready.

Doctor confirmed it with a scan.

A couple of hours later, it began. The epic runs, the green tsunami, pissing from my ass – shit by any other name would still smell as bad.

Instead of morning sickness, instead of constipation…I got diarrhoea. And I was still at it 7 days later. As I spent most of my time on the throne, I decided to blog this.

So yes, Gareth and I – we are pregnant with our first child! :)

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Today is 24 March 2014. The hubs has made the official announcement on Facebook and his blog yesterday.

We are now just over 13 weeks, entering 2nd trimester. Exciting times! Went through the morning sickness and had a bit of a scare but all is good now :)

I always thought women who suffer from morning sickness are drama queens, how can you projectile puke without warning?

Well, now I understand that you can. I have learnt to puke in my mouth and then swallowed it back multiple times because I didn’t want to be “that girl that projectile vomitted in a food court”. I have learnt to drive while hurling into a plastic bag.

Here’s the latest picture of our baby:

See the arm? We’ve got a raver!

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