With the last month of my pregnancy starting today, my nesting instinct has reached an all-time high. For months now I have scoured the internet for the best baby essentials to buy and I've gathered tips from fellow mothers for the best way to approach the baby checklist.
Now that my due date is nearing, I'm double checking the last things. And I thought sharing my picks and considerations so far could be helpful to fellow mothers and mothers-to-be so in deciding how to go about with their baby checklist. After labour I will undoubtedly have a change of perspective, which I will share then as well. But here's my Editor's picks: The Baby Checklist edition!
This part definitely took a lot of researching and talking to my mama-friends. There's several ways to feed your baby and it all comes down to what will work best for you and your baby when the time comes. There's no way of saying what you will do now so the best way to prepare is to prepare for all scenarios. The way I'm approaching this is: breastfeeding if possible and formula when needed.
Breastmilk is considered to be the ideal source of nutrition for infants and is generally recommended as the best option for infants. Breastmilk provides all the necessary nutrients for an infant's growth and development, and it also contains antibodies that can help protect the baby from infections and illnesses. It is my preferred option and I do hope I can make it work with the baby.
If I am able to breast feed and I have a sufficient milk production up and running, I want to be able to combine it with pumping. Pumping is a useful way to allow mothers to keep the production going if I have an (over)abundant milk supply. It is also a great way to keep production going on days I'm not at home or when I go back to work again.
If I'm unable to breastfeed, then formula will be just as good an option for mothers to feed their babies. Formula can be a good alternative for mothers who are unable to breastfeed, or who choose not to breastfeed. Formula can provide adequate nutrition for an infant's growth and development, and there are many different types of formula available nowadays.
Again, it will all depend on what will eventually work for me and the baby. But you have to be prepared for both routes!
For pumping, I have looked into the Elvie pumps — electric pumps that are hands-free and allow mothers to pump their milk when they're busy. Leading a busy life, I hope this will be a game-changer for me when I do get to breastfeed.
For formula feeding, we are also looking for ways to keep our lives efficient and practical, so we've looked into BabyBrezza , the market leader when it comes to feeding machines. More specifically, we're obsessed with the BabyBrezza Formula Pro Advanced. This feeding essential preps the baby's bottle with your baby's formula and water at the right temperature in a significantly easy way. Not only is this going to save us a lot of time during nighttime feeding, it will also leave us more time to prepare other things during the day. I cannot wait to try this out. I believe it's even one of the top baby shower gifts to gift! For those who are interested, I do have a 10% code off purchases on the Dutch shopping site, when you use the code "Currant10".
For bottles, there's no way in knowing what your baby will like personally. One baby may like one brand better than the other and eventually it'll all come down to testing with your baby. One thing I was advised pretty early on by my fellow mothers to choose an anti-colic bottle for the baby. Anti-colic bottles are designed to reduce colic symptoms while feeding, keeping your baby (and by extension, you) happy as well! There's many brands that carry anti-colic bottles these days. After much research, we chose MAM — a brand that works with medical experts to create the best anti-colic bottles. We also learned that the MAM bottles are self-sterilizing. This ultimately helped us in choosing MAM.
Of course in case MAM doesn't work, we have several other brands at hand to try as well, such as Lansinoh glass bottles and Dr. Brown's anti-colic bottles.
And of course for feeding, we wanted a baby high chair in our house. Not only will it make it easier for feeding our baby (especially when she's older), it is also a great way for the baby to make feeding time more social and interactive by having her sit with us at the dining table. For the high chair, we wanted it to at least be convenient (good height), safe but also versatile (the baby needs to be able to grow into it). And one of the most recommended options was the Stokke Tripp Trapp — an award winning high chair that has stood the test of time. So much so that every parent friend we have, has the Tripp Trapp! We chose this high chair in a wooden finish to also align with our house's design aesthetics and the newborn seat.
For health & care, we considered the following:
As natural as possible: as a newborn's skin is highly sensitive and can get irritated easily, I knew from the get-go that for all skincare products, I wanted to go for brands that carry products with natural ingredients only.
There were only really two brands that stood out to me for this.
The first being Naïf. Naïf is a brand known for the natural ingredients that they use in their products. Products contain no micro plastics, no mineral oils or silicon (and don't we like the sound of that). The brand carries a range of products from skincare to haircare and more, which we all stocked up on, as well as their baby wipes, one of their bestselling products (which we've only heard good things about).
The second being Kenko — a brand that captures the bond between mother and child. Products are formulated with quality ingredients and a subtle scent that connects both mother and child. I like this philosophy so much so I can't wait to be using their products as well!
When it comes to pacifiers, people seem to be very divided. Some mothers are convinced pacifiers are bad because it can cause dental problems and interfere with language development. For us, we'll be trying to use pacifiers for calming and soothing only and we'll also not be introducing it after at least my breastfeeding is well established. We're also choosing for pacifiers of silicone and rubber, because they're less likely to cause mouth injuries, with a shield guard that prevents the baby from choking or suffocating. We stocked up on MAM pacifiers for this and will be good to go for the coming months!
For sleeping time, we considered:
Safety: there's a lot of hazards waiting to happen in a baby's crib. So we did our research for how to prevent it. And it so happens that one of the greatest liabilities during sleeping time, is suffocation caused by loose items in the crib or blankets. This is why generally, sleeping bags are recommended.
Comfort: when your baby has spent 9 months inside your womb, your baby is going to look for the same warmth, sound and comfort he or she had in the womb. So we wanted to simulate the womb as best as we could during sleeping time. For this reason, we looked into swaddle bags. Swaddling can help calm a fussy baby and promote sleep by mimicking the feeling of being in the womb. It is also said to help prevent a baby from startling themselves away with their own reflexes (also known as the Moro reflex). Additionally it can provide a sense of security and comfort.
For the crib, the first (and eventually only) crib we had our eyes on was the Stokke Sleepi set. We fell in love with the rounded shape of the crib and the ability to start with the bassinet size (the Mini) and extend it to a crib when the baby grows. The bed also has wheels, making it perfect to roll it to wherever we want in the house so that the baby can sleep practically anywhere in the house.
For comfort, we looked into sleeping bags, more specifically swaddle bags. We're eager to try out to brands that stood out to us the most.
First off, Puckababy, a brand known for their high-quality, soft and breathable materials and their swaddles are designed to be easy to use and adjust. They have a wide variety of designs, like this soft teddy bag we chose.
Second, Love to Dream, a brand known for their high-quality, soft and breathable materials as well, with the difference that their designs allow babies to sleep in a more natural, arms-up position. This design allows for babies to use their ands and fingers to self-sooth. They have a wide variety of cute designs as well and options for when your baby transitions out of swaddling.
To warm up the baby's bassinet during the night after feeding or a diaper change, we've also opted for a heating jug. The one we chose is from Soozly — it's an electric one that heats up quicker than your usual heating jug. And it comes in a variety of prints as well!
To simulate the sound of the womb, we bought a white noise and light projector in one. Having a white noise machine or sound soother can help to create a calm and soothing environment for the baby. And the light projector creates a colourful ceiling that can stimulate the baby's vision and also entertain when the baby gets fussy!
And to further decorate the nursery, we have several stuffed animals across the room to create a cosy and warm feel. Because the baby will be born in the year of the Rabbit (in Chinese astrology), we specifically chose to decorate the room with Miffy. And we especially love the new Miffy x Little Dutch collaboration!
For the nursery, it's also easy to want to fill the room with all kinds of cuteness. Before you know it, you've splurged on way too many things and most of it probably things you don't need! In picking our things for the nursery, we considered three things:
Safety: with two cats in the house who wander around a lot, we want all items in the nursery to be safely stored inside all cabinets at all times. Things we'll be reaching out for on a more regular basis, will be tucked away in nursery baskets.
Space & storage: when you live in Amsterdam, being able to create space and storage is essential. That means having only essentials in the house, making practical and efficient space decisions and not overbuying things, even though they are cute
Sense: we try to achieve an overall calmness and peaceful vibe in our house. We do that by maintaining a certain temperature in all rooms, maintaining a warm and slightly dimmed light and maintaining a neutral and warm colour palette throughout the house with lots of wooden and natural elements.
To keep the nursery calm and spacious, we have everything stored in the cabinets, apart from things that we will reach out for on a regular basis, such as diapers, cloths, pacifiers and baby creams. These items will be stored in baskets in every room of the house, making it easy to grab all necessary things when we need too, but not overcrowding the rooms.
For the diaper station, the Leander Matty changing pad was the first thing we looked at. The changing pad is designed ergonomically to make it comfortable for the baby, with a material that easily adapts to the temperature of your baby's skin. The pad visually fits the rest of the room and adds to the calmness we're looking for. It also comes in a variety of colours and accessories!
For all rooms, we're maintaining a warm and natural tone, with lots of dimmed lighting, such as the Miffy night lamp. This lamp emits a diffused light due to the silicone case, which is perfect for when we need to change diapers or feed during the night. You want to avoid any harsh or bright lights that could be disruptive to a baby's sleep.