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Sunday 9 March 2014

My Baby Must Haves...

With only seven weeks to go before the newest member of our family arrives I've been starting to think about all the things I need to organise. The biggest one being coming up with a name for her. Really must get cracking on that in case she arrives early!

There are lots of other things that need to be organised that are a little easier. Things that I need to buy. We have a few baby items here that Lola was still using when we first arrived int he US (baby bath, cloth diapers, baby carrier...) but most things need to be purchased again as they were either sold before we left Australia or put into storage.

Here's a look at a few of the items on my wish list at the moment. (Family members wondering what we may need take note!)

1. Bugaboo Bee
You may have seen our stroller in photos here on Little Hiccups, or maybe you're a friend who sees me getting around town with the kids. Either way, you're probably thinking "But she's already got that exact stroller", and you'd be right. Well, kind of... We currently have the Bugaboo Bee which we bought just prior to Lola's birth back in 2010. It's been a fantastic stroller and we've absolutely loved how easy it has made our transition to living without a car. Except for one little thing... Well, two little things actually. The back wheels. We have the original model of the Bugaboo Bee which unfortunately seemed to have a problem with the design of the back wheels. That problem being that the back wheels wear out incredibly quickly - as in every 6 months or so they wear so thin they tear open rendering the stroller useless. In the three and a half years that we have owned our Bugaboo Bee we've replaced the back wheels six times! While replacing the wheels twice a year isn't ideal it is still cheaper than buying a new stroller. But... because the model of Bee that we own was replaced by the Bee+ back in 2010 Bugaboo no longer have stock of the spare wheels and will not be producing anymore. So even though I'd love to keep our trusty stroller, which I like to think of as our family car, it only has another month or two's worth of use left in it before the current back wheels rip. This problem with the back wheels has been addressed by Bugaboo and the Bee+ has new improved wheels. I have many friends who've owned the Bee+ for years and their original back wheels still look as new. Because our stroller has been perfect for us in every other way (and we have a lot of Bugaboo accessories) we've decided to upgrade to the Bee+. Now to work out what to do with the current one...
As a side note, the model of Bee that we own was actually discontinued by Bugaboo in 2009 and replaced with the Bee+ in early 2010. However we were living in Australia back then, and the new model wasn't available until the end of the year, a few months after Lola was born. Had we been in the UK, US or pretty much anywhere else we would've had the new model three and a half years ago and would still be on the original wheels. Oh well...

2. Puj Tub
We already have a Flexi Bath which is a fantastic, space saving fold up baby bath for bigger babies and toddlers, however it's not the easiest thing to use when bathing a teeny, tiny newborn as it needs to go either on the floor or in the bath tub. Bending down to bathe a tiny baby is definitely not comfortable on a new mum's back and knees (or anyone's for that matter) and standing back up again while holding a slippery newborn is not fun either. While our little one is still tiny being able to bath her while I stand would be ideal. Enter the Puj Tub. The Puj Tub is a flexible baby bath made from a soft foam. When not in use it hangs completely flat which comes in very handy in a small apartment. With a quick fold at the bottom it becomes a compact bath that fits nicely into a bathroom (or even kitchen) sink. No need to bend down to wash bubs and no need for a space hogging bath stand like a regular baby bath. With five people in a two bedroom apartment we need to save every little bit of space that we can. Another feature that I quite like is that being quite small, the Puj Tub doesn't use a huge amount of water like a much bigger traditional baby bath would. We're in drought here in California so products that help save water are high on my priority list.

3. Puj Hug 
I mentioned above that holding a slippery little baby fresh from the bath isn't always easy and this product is a great solution for such a problem. The Puj Hug is a hooded baby towel that hangs securely around the parent's neck making it hands free when getting the little one out of the bath. With the little one hugged straight against the towel the parent can easily unlatch the hooded side from around their neck and wrap it gently around Bubs' head. Snug and warm in no time. The Puj Hug is available on its own or in the infant gift set along with the Puj Tub and a three pack of Nubs, silicone hooks designed to hang all Puj products.
Puj also make a larger version of the Hug called the Big Hug for children aged two through to seven. It's a large, plush hooded towel with arm pockets to help kids dry themselves. Ava and Lola always struggle to keep towels on themselves long enough to get dry after a bath or swimming so I think the Big Hug would be a great solution for them both. Anything that helps them do more for themselves without my help is great in my book!    

4. Au Lait Nursing Dress
For the last 8 months I've spent my time trying to work out what to wear that fits over my growing belly. The next step is finding clothes that I can easily, and discreetly, nurse from while out of the house. Being quite petite most nursing tops are just way too big for me. I had a few nursing tops that I wore while feeding Ava and Lola but they were probably three sizes too big for me and super frumpy. Just because I'm a nursing mum doesn't mean I want to look bad! My search for the perfect nursing tops lead me to the New York label Au Lait. Au Lait make stylish yet practical nursing tops and dresses that don't look like nursing tops and dresses at all. And, the best part for me, the styling suits a wide range of body types, including petite women who are often forgotten when it comes to maternity and nursing clothing.
I'm a big fan of wearing dresses and I love the styling of the Au Lait nursing dress. It's a little on the pricey side, however the quality and fabric is great and it's a style I would be happy to wear even after nursing. I also figure that based on how long I nursed Ava and Lola (Ava weaned at 21 months and Lola at 25 months) I'll be wearing this dress for its intended purposes for two years anyway.

5. ErgoCocoon
Both Ava and Lola slept really well as infants when swaddled tightly. However, they were both quite the little Houdini and no matter how tightly I had swaddled them a little arm would inevitably make it's way out in no time. Having their arms free meant that they would be woken by their startle reflex and I was worried that their now loose swaddle may somehow end up over their heads. I never found a solution for Ava, however when Lola proved to be a master escape artist (there was no swaddle that would hold those little arms down) I did a little research and came across the ErgoCocoon, a zip up swaddle bag, made by ErgoPouch, an Australian company (not to be confused with the similarly named Ergobaby, makers of the ever popular baby carrier). Finally, a swaddle that her little arms couldn't get out of. It was tiny, yet stretchy and held Lola perfectly snug. When she got a little older and preferred to sleep with one arm out, snaps on the side could be undone to let her arm out. Eventually she slept with both arms out. The ErgoCocoon was one of the best baby products I've ever used. When we packed up our house in Australia for our move I put Lola's ErgoCocoons into storage for possible future use. Now here we are ready for that future use and they're packed away in a storage container on the other side of the world! Time to buy more...

6. Ergobaby Swaddler
Now just to confuse everyone, here's the Ergobaby Swaddler. Ergobaby, famous for their baby carriers, have released their own swaddle wraps and while I love the Ergococoon, I'm really tempted to give these ones a try as well. They look really snuggly and easy to use, and unlike the ErgoCocoon, they're much more readily available here in the US.

Now, time to get cracking on working out a name...

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