Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mommy's Reflections of Baby Products

About a month ago, Mommy stumbled upon this pregnancy blog known as "His Boys Can Swim" from BlogCatalog network. What interest Mommy about this blog is the way the many facets of conception, week-by week pregnancy chronicles and prenatal parenting are brought to life with the authors' (their pseudonym being 'Tarzan and Jane') lively, vivid and hilarious narrations. And Mommy can definitely relate and recall the things that Tarzan and Jane went through, except of course Mommy did not have the hormonal temper or mood swings nor strong cravings for a particular food. Well....Mommy's pregnancy journey on the whole was quite peaceful except for the low-lying placenta diagnosed on the 5th month (which resolved itself by the 7th month), news about Juan Or's mild bilateral hydronephrosis diagnosed also during Mommy's 5th month of pregnancy and lastly Mommy having sugar leaked into the urine at about 7 months onwards.

Anyway, there's this blog post in "His Boys Can Swim" that caught Mommy's attention: "Freaking out over baby products like strollers, cribs, and whatever else you buy for a baby boy". Certainly, Mommy had already gone through the period of rummaging through Mommy's grey matter over what's essential, what's useful and convenient, what's useful but not essential and what's merely a novelty item (Hint: meaning it's a waste of money to buy!) when preparing for Baby Juan Or to arrive into the world. And certainly, since Baby Juan Or has been here for 9+ months already, Mommy is a lot wiser already about what baby things to buy, what need not to buy and what not to buy at all. Here's the list (in the Malaysian context for hot and humid weather and frugal living in this tough economic situation):

1. Baby bed - cheapest and simplest and perhaps safest is to opt for baby mattress laid on the floor. No need for crib where you need to buy the bedding material to cover the hole slots of the crib. If you still want something that looks like a bed for the baby, then you can opt for playpen because it can easily be shifted within the house and you can also fold it up if you need to put it ito the car boot for travelling purposes.

2. Baby blanket - no need to buy the proper baby blanket! Merely buy several pieces of adult size bath towels and that will do the job just as fine, if not for a longer period of time and can be used as proper towel when the baby progresses to childhood and then to adulthood.

3. Stroller - opt for those lightweight buggy type that still offers various reclining seat positions. No need to buy those that doubles as a stroller and an infant car seat type (those so-called travel system). Why? Because you need to consider whether your car or car boot is big enough to fit in the travel system type or those bulky stroller types. Even if your car can fit those bulky strollers, you will also need to consider whether, you, in the long run, can stand lugging around this bulky stuff in and out of the car everytime you bring the baby out. Make sense? Next!

4. Baby towel - refer back to Item no. 2 (Baby blanket).

5. Baby bath tub - no need to waste money buying a proper baby bath tub. Just buy a big plastic basin (you know the type used for soaking clothes overnight to wash?) and that will do the job just as well and much, much cheaper too. And when the baby is able to sit up, you can even do away with the basin when bathing....just use an anti-slip (suction) bath mat for the baby to sit on while you pour water onto the baby's body.

6. Baby bottle sterilizer - not a necessity. You can merely boil water, then switch off the gas and then soak the cleaned bottles in the hot water for something as short as 1 minute. Too short a sterilization time? Don't worry, the baby won't get stomachache for that because the baby has his/her own immune system to do the job. Don't forget, the baby is not likened to culturing embryos in a petri dish where it doesn't have its own immune system!

7. Baby feeding set - won't adult plastic plates, cups, forks and spoons do the same job? If you think adult spoons are too big, then use the tea spoon or use those small plastic spoons you usually get when eating Kentucky Fried Chicken's mash potatoes - the size of the KFC plastic spoon is just nice for a baby's mouth!

8. Baby clothes - if the climate is hot and humid, then buy more short sleeve tops, preferably eyelet ones and thin material if possible, and shorts too, rather than long pants - more ventilation. What about baby onesies? The only problem with onesies (not a major or common problem, though) is if your baby's body is the long type, then very soon your baby may not be able to wear it already! Stock up only a little on thicker long sleeve types for cold and rainy whether.

9. Baby bottles - opt for those with straight body, not those curvy ones because those curvy ones are more difficult to wash.

10. Rattles - don't buy those with narrow or near-narrow protrusions because when baby has reached the stage of wanting to put everything and anything into the mouth, baby will shove it in (of course baby won't swallow it!) until they retch or almost vomit or until baby vomits! In fact, no need to buy sophisticated toys for baby because baby will prefer to play with simpler things (usually household objects) like plastic cover/lid, butter cookies empty tin, small basin, water bottle and plastic container.

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