I’m not going to bombard you with a ton of mama and baby “MUST-HAVES” because Lord knows you can find enough of those online. I think you can actually do without most of the products that are recommended in those, especially since majority of them cost an arm and a leg. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be using most of them for only a few months.
So I’m only going to mention products that really made our lives with a new baby a lot easier and that would be worth spending on.
1. Wearable breast pump
I knew this would be at the top of the list. I was determined to breastfeed for at least two years. Not easy for a working mom, but my Youha The Ins (Don’t ask me why that’s what it’s called because I have no idea) Gen 2 breast pump has made it a lot easier.
The great thing about it is that the pump fits directly into the cups that catch the milk without the need for tubes. It’s rechargable so you don’t have to be connected to a power source the entire time either. You just attach it to your breast and let it sit in your bra. I can keep working and even walk around while I’m pumping. The Gen 2 version has worked well for me with it’s 5-oz volume capacity per cup since I’ve never been one to produce a ton of milk. The Gen 1 version can hold more milk at 8 oz per cup because the pump sits on top, so it doesn’t take up any of the space. That version has pretty good reviews too so if you’re blessed with an abundant milk supply, I say go for the Gen1.
I got a pair (2 sets) on pre-order basis from The Mommy Box on Shopee for P6,107 including shipping. Aside from the pump itself, each set includes a flange insert (You can choose the size you need), a charger, a carrying case, and an instruction manual. This product is also available on the Babymama website. You do have the option to buy only one set if the pair is out of your budget. The shops also sell spare parts for the pumps, as well as other pump brands. Just to get an idea of what a good deal the Youha actually is, the Willow wearable breast pump (made in the USA) costs $329 (~P19,400) on the website.
There are other brands for wearable pumps but I can’t speak to how well they work since I haven’t tried them. But the Youha gets two thumbs up from me.
2. Hakaa breast pump
You know that time when your milk is finally coming in and you’re producing so much of it that when your baby is latching on to one boob, the other boob is just spraying milk that drenches your shirt? It’s such a waste.
The Hakaa is a hands-free, silicone breast pump that uses suction to gently draw milk out. It’s more of a milk catcher really. You press it onto your breast and let it do its thing. No need for tubes or power cords. With the Hakaa attached to the free breast, you can save up that milk instead. It’s a great way to build up your stash. It’s no surprise that this comes so highly recommended by a lot of moms.
I have the Gen 2 version, which has a suction base and a cute flower stopper to reduce the risk of spillage.
Mine was a gift from my sister, but the Hakaa is available locally at Babymama. It comes in two sizes: 100ml and 150ml, with the former costing P950 and the latter P1,250. It’s pretty easy to clean as it can be sterilized using any steam sterilizing system or by boiling in water for 2-3 minutes.
3. Nursing tops/dresses
I am so glad that it’s very easy to find cute nursing outfits nowadays. Of course, you CAN use regular tops and dresses with necklines that make your breasts accessible but these expose too much skin for my liking. I typically don’t like to use a breastfeeding cover either because the baby always ends up covered in sweat or trying to pull it away.
Clothes that are designed specifically for nursing are great because they only expose the part of the breast that the baby latches on to. Nothing to see here!
Here are some of my favorite nursing outfits, some of which I bought while others were given to me by friend/OB-Gyne whose baby was at the tail-end of her own breastfeeding journey. Lucky me!
The Boppy is a U-shaped pillow that provides much-needed support for your baby and your arms while nursing. Its shape allows it to fit around your waist. It gives enough elevation so you don’t have to hunch, thereby reducing the risk of back pain. Some newer models even have a ribbon attached to the ends that you can tie to make sure it stays in place.
When your baby is a few months older, you can even use it to prop him/her up. It also comes with a removable cover that you can wash as needed.
On the official website, different versions cost between $30-$60.
Since Daniel is already two years old, I now mainly use it as a back support for when I’m working.
5. Cloth diapers
We dreaded the thought of all the single-use plastic waste that comes from disposable diapers so we decided to go for the cloth ones. We haven’t regretted it for a second.
- They’re washable and reusable so they’re better for the environment.
- They’re adjustable so your baby can use them from infancy all the way to their toddler years. Daniel is two years old and he’s still wearing the same diapers he’s been using since he was a couple of months old.
- They save you money in the long-run. Disposable diapers are so expensive especially if you get the best brands. We do use disposables at night so we can get more sleep without having to change diapers until the next morning but he uses cloth in the daytime.
- Less risk for diaper rash compared to disposables because you tend to change their nappies more often.
- You can pass them on when you’re done.
- Additional laundry. And they take up a lot of space on the clothes line. It’s not as big of an issue if you have a washing machine though.
- It’s a rather large initial investment. However, you can build your stash slowly by buying a few pieces at a time until you have a collection size that works for you, and you can opt for the more affordable brands.
- It can get addicting. This didn’t happen to me because I’m notoriusly frugal (AKA kuripot).
Here are some of the CDs that we still use today:
(There is so much more to cloth diapers than I can fit into this article so I will likely be writing about it separately. I may even do a video, so stay tuned!)
6. Chicco toothpaste
When Daniel’s first few teeth had sprouted, we would just brush them with water as recommended by our dentist. It was fine for a while. I don’t know what happened but one day Daniel decided he hated having his teeth brushed. It would be such an ordeal with him screaming and squirming the entire time.
Finally our dentist suggested that we try the Chicco fluoride-free toothpaste which you can get from their flagship store on Lazada. The bundle included two tubes of the toothpaste and a really nice soft-bristled toothbrush.
Brushing became a lot easier once we started using this toothpaste because Daniel loves the apple-banana flavor. They do have other flavors like strawberry and mixed fruit. Since it’s fluoride-free, we don’t have to worry about him swallowing it. The active ingredient in this product is xylitol, which inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities.
The pandemic hit not very long after we found out I was pregnant. In March 2020, we went on hard lockdowns. Even doctors had to close their clinics, including my OB-Gynes. It was nerve-racking to not have regular prenatal check-ups so we bought fetal doppler online.
The fetal doppler is a hand-held device that works by detecting changes in movement and translating them into sound. It uses these sound waves to check the baby’s heartbeat. The brand (Jumper) we got is currently available for P1,895 on Lazada and it was well-worth it because we could check on the baby as often as we wanted. Oh, and you know that gel that you’re supposed to apply onto your abdomen before using the doppler? We just used the good old Aloe Vera gel that comes in a tub and it worked just fine. You can find that in many supermarkets and pharmacies. You can use it for hair and skincare too so SULIT!
8. Philips Avent Milk Storage Cups
Although we used them primarily to store expressed breast milk, there’s a lot more you can do with these. What do we love about them?
- They’re stackable, which makes the freezer more organized.
- You can use them to store other things. Once we started introducing solids to Daniel’s diet, we could then store vegetables and fruit, and even snacks in them.
- They’re microwave-safe so you can easily defrost whatever frozen food item you’ve stored, and feed directly to your baby without the need to transfer the food to a separate bowl.
- They are more eco-friendly and will also help you save money because you can wash and reuse the cups, as opposed to the milk storage bags which you have to throw away after one use.
- You can write on the side of the cup or on the lid with a pencil to mark the dates and contents
- The sets that are available on the Philips Avent flagship store on Lazada also includes adaptors so you can attach the teat directly onto the cup. No need to transfer to another milk bottle.
9. UV Sterilizer Bag
Since I would have to pump at work, this bag proved very useful. I’d use it to carry the pump parts and storage cups. If I forgot to stick them in the steam sterilizer at home, no problem because the main compartment of this bag has LED UV lights. It already comes with a built-in plug. You just push a button which lights up to start the sterilizing process. Once the light stops flashing, then you know it’s done.
The bottom compartment is insulated. So before I go home, I just place my ice packs and storage cups in there and I don’t have to worry about the milk spoiling.
I’ve used this strictly for our breastfeeding things so far though. Once I’ve weaned Daniel off, I won’t be passing this on since we can also use this to sterilize other things like toys, mobile phones, masks, and even clothes.
10. Potty Training Seat
This is our most recent purchase. At first I would just let Daniel sit on the regular toilet seat while I held him so he wouldn’t fall in. This quickly became uncomfortable for me because of the strain on my wrists and elbows. I suspect it wasn’t very comfortable for him either with me trying to hold him up under his armpits.
I’m so glad we got this training seat from Chicco. It fits just right over our regular toilet (It’s supposed to be compatible to most toilet seats), and it’s padded too for extra comfort. Now Daniel can do his thing without being held.
So there you have it. These are the mama and baby products that we have been loving the past two years. If you are expecting or you’re trying to think of a good gift for someone who is, I highly recommend you consider some of them.
Thanks for reading!