My favourite baby gear

I just had to share with you some of my favourite baby gear so far!

  1. Top of the list is my wonderful, fantastic, life (and arm and back) saving ring sling!!!! I’m just sorry I didn’t use it right form the start! It was a bit tricky to use for the first couple of times, but it is so easy once you get the hang of it. Ours is the Babylonia BB-Sling in blueberry. It’s great on my back (better than the BabyBjorn Synergy we also have) and Alex loves it (again, better than BabyBjorn). It’s not that I don’t like the BabyBjorn, I just guess they have different uses. Here we are in action (for a walk in our lovely new neighbourhood):
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    and in nap mode:
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    It’s especially great for a baby with reflux and colic because he can nap in a semi-upright position. I also think he likes to be at the same level as us. And I love being hands free! It’s also fairly easy to breastfeed while wearing it, plus the long tail allows me to cover up (also useful when it’s windy or too sunny outside).
  2. Muslin squares (aka old-fashioned cloth diapers) and washcloths. You can’t imagine how much I’ve been using these! Muslin squares are cheap and great for: wiping up spit-up; burping; wiping up vitamins, medicines, etc; covering up while nursing (only a couple of times really); putting under baby’s head in cradle, carrycot, etc.; for putting over changing mat when out and about; and so on… I also bought a supercheap 10 pack of washcloths at Ikea that we use for wiping up bigger spit-up messes, drooling, medicines, etc.
  3. Bumgenius cloth diapers. I love, love, love these. Alex is a major explosive poo kind of baby. You know, the kind that goes up the back, out of the diaper and on to clothes, you, the bed, whatever… I must say I haven’t had a single explosion with these. They are just about as practical as disposables, easy to put on and wash, super absorbent, keep little sprout dry and haven’t had any nappy rash so far. oh, and they dry the same day as well (we don’t own a dryer). Plus, they save us money in the long run and are SO much better for the environment than disposables. And, they’re so CUTE!!! We have around 22 now if I’m not mistaken, wash every 2-3 days and haven’t run out yet. They are available in Brussels through my favourite on-line store (SeBIO), but unfortunately they’re pricey here. I got mine from the UK (no VAT on cloth nappies = much cheaper!!!).S1033969
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  4. Cheeky wipes. These are basically cloth wipes. They’re a bit gimmicky, but they’re great. I thought of making my own kit, but buying everything here would come out more expensive. They really are great, clean better, not mucky on the hands, easy to use (no drying necessary), great for baby’s bum and the environment as well.
  5. Playmat(s). We have 2. And a plain mat as well. This is one of the ways I manage a shower in the morning! We have a Tiny Love Gymni monkey island which he loves. He’s been batting at the toys since around 7/8 weeks and he still loves it.
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    We also have a great Lilliputiens mat/sleeping bag that he is loving for tummy time.S1033976_2
    And we have an Ikea quilt/mat that’s good for taking outside or layering for hard floors.
  6. BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance & Toy
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    Alex loves this! Especially now he has discovered the wooden toys on it and actually knows how to make them move!!! Plus it’s super easy to wash (very important when you have a little posseter).
  7. Birthing/exercise ball
    This is the exact one we have (50cm because I’m short…  R can’t really use it). This was one of my favourites during pregnancy and it’s still going strong. Good for bouncing and rocking a colicky baby without tiring so much. I also imagine he’ll like it when he’s a bit older AND I expect to use it for exercise (one day)…
  8. Colourful mobile
    Again, this is the exact one we have. I wouldn’t recommend it for the bed because it’s very stimulating (although that’s what they make it for). We have ours attached to the crib, but push it away out of sight when putting him down to sleep. This isn’t a beautiful mobile that fits in wonderfully with our decor BUT it’s stimulating for Sprout and keeps him amused for 30min at a time. Babies can’t really “see” the pastel or softer coloured ones.

Cloth diapers and eco disposables

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I’ve finally tried out all of my cloth diapers (or nappies for Brits)!!! And I washed them all! Yay!!!

I must say I was a bit worried about stains and odour, but no problem whatsoever. No spills or leaks, good fit, generally easy to use, store and wash. They’re all on the line now. My favourites are the bumgenious V3 one size pocket nappies. They are just like disposables and they adjust to fit a growing baby, so they can be used much longer. Unfortunately, they are also more expensive… However, I think it’s well worth the investment.Rodrigo only liked these.  I was sad to see the swaddle bee just barely fits his bum anymore! my little boy is growing so fast.

I also discovered I don’t like poppers much. Alex is very wriggly when changing, so speed and ease is of the essence two-parts and poppers take longer and he can squiggle out easily, making it harder for me to change.

We’ve been using disposables until now, just because it was easier, with getting used to having sprout home and having stay-in visitors (mom and mother in law). Besides, our washing machine is downstairs, so not very practical. It will be much easier in our new house :). I tried Swillet, Bumbo Nature and moltex. They are all good at containing the mess, but I found Swillet (unfortunately the most Eco of the bunch) to feel too plasticy (the plastic material is made of corn). Bambo Nature are good, but a bit bulkier than others. My favourite s are Moltex – closer to other commercial brands. I definitely recommend. I’ve been buying from an online store – SeBio – that delivers free in Brussels for purchases over €40. They’re great and they also have cloth!

Now I’m going to try to gradually change to cloth for most of the time and keep the eco-disposables for going out and night. Hopefully I’ll be able to make the full transition at some point.

Here’s Alex  in his Bumgenious. Adorable!!!

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Our new Ferrari and other updates

I’ve been having a busy month at the office, trying to finish things up and preparing the ground for my replacement, so I really haven’t felt like turning on the computer (or doing anything else, for that matter) once I get home. And so it’s March 18th and this is my first post this month!

Everything has been great on the pregnancy side of things: still doing my yoga, we have our last prenatal BCT class tomorrow and I’ve also been going to prenatal kines-therapy (similar to physiotherapy) sessions on Saturday mornings.

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We’ve started to prepare things for sprouts arrival. All newborn clothes has been washed, ironed and put away in my drawers. Unfortunately he still doesn’t have his own room because we are in the process of buying an apartment and the closing will only be in June, so we’ll have to cram up a bit in our room until then. Not that I expect to have him sleeping in his room yet, but it would be nice to have his dresser, etc to put his things in instead of having them in random places throughout the house like we do at the moment!

We also finally brought home the Ferrari my sis kindly gave us for the little sprout (R has been calling it a Ferrari because its red 😉 )!

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We love our red Loola Up! It was very easy to put everything together (minor assembly required), and it’s lightweight, practical to open and close, doesn’t take up much space (when closed), easy to manoeuvre… just great. In the pic you can see the full stroller with raincover on, the carrycot (which will be doubling as a moses basket until we move) and the car seat and car seat base. Everything is set up so that it can air out. It really smells plasticy in that little room now! On the sofa bed behind, you can see some bits and pieces that still need sorting and washing.

I’ve also been collecting some cloth diapers to try out once sprout is here:

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Our stash now includes (clockwise from left) 2 XS Motherease Airflow wraps, 3 S Tots Bots Bamboozles; 2 Onesize Bumgenious V3; 1 S Fuzzibunz Pocket; 1 S Tots Bots Flexitots Organic; and 1 Organic velour Swaddlebees in Newborn. I think they’re adorable. My favourite is the Swaddlebees. It’s a 2 part diaper, which means it need a waterproof wrap (will be using Motherease). It’s so soft and compact and has a little fold down part in the front to give room for a newborn’s cord. I also have some disposable paper liners, sanitizer, a mesh bag for dry pailing and washing and various boosters. I can’t wait to try them, even though I’m a bit worried about them getting stained early on with the meconium… I really hope I’ll be able to use these!

And, just as an update, here is my belly at around 32 weeks:

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Needless to say, I’m much bigger at 35 weeks now!

Happy New Year

The New Year has started off really cold here in Brussels. It’s -10°C as I write and yesterday I woke up to this:

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It was still dark outside at 8am. Everything is still white today… well, sort of white! Snow in the city gets sloppy very fast.

2008 was a great year and seems to have gone by really fast… I can’t believe 2009 is here already and we’ll soon have a new addition to the family! In (probably) less than four more months our little sprout will be here. I’m really excited and have finally made a list of what I think we’ll need.

We’ll have to hit the stores soon to figure out where we’re going to by things and if we’re going to have a baby list or not at any store. As with everything else, I’m really keen on buying environmentally friendly and healthy products for little sprout, but choice still seems to be limited. I’m thinking of getting some things on-line, such as cloth nappies. I know most people say they’re a hassle, etc but I really want to give them a try. Now I just have to figure out what kind, brand, size and how many!!!

Here are some I’ve been considering:

They are the Imse Vimse all-in-one, Bambino Mio,  Tots Bots and Bumgenious all-in-one. They have to be really simple to use and (practically) leak-free so that I can convince my dear husband and daycare to use them as well. If anyone has any opinion on these (or others), all advice is welcome! I’ll let you know which I chose and where I got them once I make up my mind. i may actually get one of each and see what works best once sprout is here and use Eco-friendly disposables such as these for the first few days.

In other news, I’ve been making more maternity clothes to help fill out my wardrobe. Here another skirt and my bump at 24 weeks:

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And a pair of pants at 25 weeks:

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I always look so unnatural in pictures! And what’s with my hair? I swear it doesn’t look like this live 🙂 New Year’s resolution: learn how to take and pose for pictures!