Michelle interviews the founders of innovative baby products in her series, “Passport Baby.”
Becoming first time parents can be overwhelming, especially when you make your first trip to the store for your registry. With products and brands galore, from strollers to breast pumps, how could one possibly know what they need and which ones to choose? That is how we felt on our first trip to the store, but after a bit of time and lots of research and first hand experience, I have hand picked a few staples to help get you started. I will be writing a few articles as I discover new helpful products.
Stroller: The UPPAbaby brand baby strollers are all the rage on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. On one block, one may see five different colors of the UPPAbaby VISTA or the UPPAbaby CRUZ. For city living, I can understand why this is such a beneficial stroller. The wheels are sturdy and suspension excellent. It also has a big basket underneath the seat for lots of grocery shopping and errands with your little one. The vista has a variety of configurations and maneuvers like a single stroller with the ability to adapt as a family grows. It comes with a bassinet and a toddler seat with multiple positions. They are both interchangeable and requires no fabric swapping. The canopy adjusts as your child grows and has an extendable 50+ sunshade.
If you plan on having another baby in the next few years, the seat selections and configurations can comfortably hold two Mesa infant car seats with a direct configuration and no attachments, two bassinets, and two toddler seats. if you add the PiggyBack Ride Along Board, three can comfortably ride.
The UPPAbaby CRUZ is also compatible with the Mesa and is streamlined and compact without compromising on function. It has an easy one step fold with or without the seat attached.
The UPPAbaby G-LUXE is the lightest full size reclining stroller in its class. It has a one-wheel lock brake, easy access, large basket, an extendable SPF 50+ sunshade, one-handed recline and adjustable footrest. The fabric is removable and washable.
The UPPAbaby G-LITE stroller is one of the lightest full-size umbrella strollers available weighing 11 pounds.
The UPPAbaby G-LINK stroller is perfect for someone with twins. The side by side reclining seats and adjustable footrests have an independent one-handed adjustable recline with four positions.
Carseat: The UPPAbaby MESA infant car seat is suitable for babies from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches in height. It is the only car seat on the market that uses the smart secure system. It has self-retracting mini latch connectors and a red to green tightness indicator that allows for a quick, accurate and easy installation. It has advanced side impact protection, exceeding the proposed NHTSA safety standards for SIP. The integrated headrest design keeps an infant’s head stationary during a side impact collision. The car seat comes in a variety of colors. If choosing the Henry (blue marl), it is constructed of merino wool, which is fire resistant. It is a soft breathable fabric that is comfortable in both warm and cool temperatures.
Nursing Bras: They are not kidding when they say your breasts increase in size when pregnant. I think I needed a new bra every few weeks through the first half of my pregnancy. Then in the second half, the belly keeps expanding that your bra needs also seem to expand. Some say to stop wearing underwires so it doesn’t inhibit your milk production. Regardless, I think if one can find a supportive bra without an underwire, it’s good for your breast health. However, as a woman who has always needed an underwire for support, I find it hard to find a good bra that still gives me a somewhat decent shape.
That was until I discovered Bravado! Design Nursing Bras. Their silk seamless bras and camis that are so soft and comfortable while also offering great support for women of all sizes. I have tried the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, the Yoga Nursing Bra and the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Cami. Two brand new limited-edition colors are the sea glass for the nursing bra and Dove Heather for the yoga bra. The cami comes in black and white. I love the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Cami because it can be worn underneath a shirt or sweater and because the Body Silk Seamless Bra is knitted inside, there is no need to wear a bra too. The four-way stretch fabric hugs your changing shape and has convertible criss-cross straps.
The nursing bra also has the four way stretch fabric and it includes a conversion kit that converts the bra to a regular bra once you are done nursing, so you don’t have to worry about spending money on a bra you’ll only wear for a short time. For maximum skin-to-skin contact, the bra cups drop away fully.
Pregnancy and Nursing Pillows: Friends kept telling me how much they loved their full body pillow they used during pregnancy. I thought I was doing just fine with my two memory foam pillows – one for under my head and one for between my knees. That was before I was introduced to the Boppy Multi-Use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow. If you’re pregnant, you’re probably waking up one to three or more times a night to either go to the bathroom or from restlessness. I can’t guarantee you won’t need to still go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but I have found I am far less restless when cuddled up to my pillow. It provides complete head-to-tow support including comfort to your neck, belly, back and hips. The slipcover is made from 100% cotton, wipeable and machine washable. According to recent studies, poor sleep can lead to longer labor, preterm birth and gestational weight gain. Therefore, don’t take a good night’s rest lightly!
If you’re afraid your partner may get jealous of this new addition taking over your bed, the Boppy Pregnancy Support Pillow is a smaller-sized body pillow that provides just the right support for the hips, legs and bump.
The Boppy Back and Bump Support Pillow is perfect for helping with the recommended side sleeping during pregnancy. It supports both the belly and back in a compact design. While I always intend to sleep on my side, inevitably I still end up on my back. This pillow helps keep me in place and supports the back muscles and ligaments which are getting loser as the pregnancy progresses.
If you just want a wedge to place at any point on your body, the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge is a firm, versatile pregnancy cushion you can use on your back, bump or between your knees. It also makes for a great lumbar support while sitting.
After baby is born, the Boppy Nursing and Feeding Pillow provides great support while breast or bottle feeding.
In my next article, I will give helpful product tips for bassinets, carriers, and more! Keep smiling – your new addition will be here soon and while you will always worry about your child, hopefully you’re a little less worried about about which products are best for getting started!
Becoming pregnant for the first time can be exciting, but at the same time, it can be overwhelming. A new mom to be wants to make sure she does everything she can to provide her baby with the best chance of being born healthy and happy. It’s not always a walk in the park. That glow everyone talks about most likely will be harder to find when you are nauseous in the first trimester, exhausted and not able to make it past 6pm, getting bigger and bigger with a stomach that has a mind of its own. However, it’s comforting to know there are products that can help ease the symptoms of pregnancy and make it more enjoyable, while also protecting your unborn baby. Below are some of the few I have discovered so far in my third trimester.
Aden and Anais Nursing Pillow: As you get bigger and the pregnancy progresses, some practicioners stress the importance of laying on your left side. The Aden and Anais Nursing Pillow not only makes for a great pillow for the baby while nursing after birth, but also helps with staying on one’s left side. It is very comfortable and plump and can be positioned behind or in front of you for nighttime support. Its removable, machine-washable white cover is made from soft, breathable 100% cotton muslin. Colorful cotton muslin covers are also available in a variety of signature prints. For wrapping your bundle of joy after birth, the Aden and Anais swaddles come in many cute colors and sizes.
Belly Armor Belly Blanket Luxe by Radiashield: You work on your laptop and keep your cell phone close to you. But you also worry the radiation can be harmful to your developing baby. Belly Armor is a soft, cuddly blanket that also functions as a shield between your electronic devices at the baby in your womb. It is a very simple way of protecting your little one in utero. The Luxe is made up of luxurious cotton micro-fleece and satin.
Belly Bandit’s Upsie Belly: The Upsie Belly for me is a life saver! Towards the end of the pregnancy, it becomes more and more difficult to walk due to the pressure of the baby’s head in my pelvis, but I also know walking is recommended and I didn’t want to give that up. In fact, it wasn’t really an option, considering I live in NYC and still need to get from point A to point B. That’s where this simple, yet very effective wrap which comes with a heating/ice pack for your back works so well. It is made of soft viscose from bamboo which makes it very comfortable. It comes in a variety of sizes and has 12 inches of adjustability, so it can be used as your belly grows. You can choose to slip the pack into the integrated pouch for your lower back for increased pain relief or wear it without it. It gives your growing belly the extra support it needs and takes the pressure off of your bladder and pelvis, making it easier to walk.
The Upsie Belly also eases sciatic, back and leg pain and adds hip, back and abdominal support. It also helps to increase circulation and blood flow, decrease varicose veins, hernias and hemorroids. Belly Bandit also makes a number of products for after you give birth to help you get back your pre-pregnancy shape.
BellyBuds by Wavhello: A baby’s hearing develops in utero at about 20 weeks, and studies have shown memories begin at 30 weeks. I think it’s so neat that your baby has a way of hearing the music you love or your voice right near them. You can let baby listen to the same music you’re listening to while working out or just relaxing around the house. BellyBuds offer a fun way for parents to talk to their baby or share music and messages through WavHello’s free VoiceShare app. Some new moms to be feel it’s a great way to bond with their baby in utero.
Blooming Wellness’ Zenbands and ZTones: Relaxation is very important in pregnancy. As a first time mom, there are a lot of unexpected changes going on in your body. Listening to calming meditations are helpful for both you and your baby. Zen bands make it easy to listen to your meditations and music through their soft boho-styled headband that acts as a headband, headphones and eye mask all in one with removable small speakers. This prevents headphones from falling out of your ears while putting very little pressure on them. Made out of lightweight cotton, they come in a variety of colors to promote the benefits of color therapy. According to their website, people have used them for traveling, running, walking, meditating, sleeping, napping, while at the spa, the pool, the gym, in a train, in a plane, for acupuncture, for hospital stays, in hotels, for hypnobirthing, for meditating and mindfulness, and just for general stress management.
Books: There are a ton of books on the market for the expectant mom. The one everyone has heard of, ” What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is useful when learning the basics of pregnancy from what tests to expect to the types of delivery. However, some lesser known titles which can be extremely helpful for the anxious mom to be are “Finding Calm for the Expectant Mom” by Alice D. Domar PH.D and Sheila Curry Oakes and “The Confident Parent” by Jane Scott MD and Stephanie Land. As someone who thought she was the only one who wasn’t in love with being pregnant at the beginning, “Finding Calm For the Expectant Mom” talks about what many women really go through and helps to ease fears and stress of pregnancy and becoming a new parent.
Carex Bed Buddy Neck Pillow: After a couple of minutes in the microwave, this soothing aromatic pillow will sooth aways aches, pains and stress, or arthritis in the neck and shoulders. Using deep, moist relaxing lavender and chamomile aromatherapy, it helps ease stress and tension. This is the perfect remedy for that tired body or a great way to find calm during your pregnancy.
Janes Wellness Gowns: a very comfortable, attractive alternative to the typical hospital gown, this is a great robe to wear during every part of your pregnancy. With its warm, lightweight knit fabric and wrap closure, they provide total comfort and minimize exposure, allowing you to relax and focus on everything from the ultrasounds to nursing your baby. They are also perfect for lounging around the house or for the day you meet your new baby.
Mama Mio: Your belly and boobs will expand to sizes you never imagined possible. With that could come stretch marks that don’t go away when your stomach does. That’s where Mama Mio comes to the rescue. They offer products to help prevent and minimize the marks. They also offer creams to help sooth the soreness from breastfeeding. Below are a few of my favorites:
Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Oil – Helps protect growing tummies against the appearance of stretch marks using a blend of omega-packed organic oils.
Mama Mio Pregnancy Boob Tube Bust Cream – Rich in omega oils to protect, cool and soothe both pregnant and new mamma boobs.
Mama Mio Goodbye Stretch Marks Stretch Mark Minimiser – This is a powerful blend of peptides, fruit and algae extracts and nourishing oils helps to minimise the appearance of both new and old stretch marks caused by pregnancy. With the stretch marks minimiser the newer the stretch mark the better the result.
Mama Mio Lucky Legs Cooling Leg Gel – Help ease weary heavy legs in a flash. Packed with oils and refreshing spearmint to help revive tired legs and swollen feet. A must for any mama-to-be.