Pee, Poop and Burp: The First 40 Days

Pee, Poop and Burp: The First 40 Days

For the first 2 days after our baby girl was born, she only needed a change of diaper every 6-8 hours. She had her typical blackish gooey poop and we could barely tell if she was peeing at all since there were no leakages. The midwives told us that the baby did not need to burp because she was having very little breast milk in the beginning. So, I thought we were doing fantastic at under 3 diaper changes a day. In fact, I enjoyed changing her diaper a lot. She never cried, except when hungry, and even then, it was a low cry and she would calm down as soon as she was fed. She was turning out to be an extremely well-mannered baby. And I proudly trumpeted this fact to friends and family.

WRONG!

Only a few days on and the little one gave us a shocking reality check. She now pooped much more often, more like 6-8 times a day and specially after each feed, sometimes more. At times, she pooped again immediately after the new diaper was put on. And then you needed to redo the whole exercise of laying her down on the changing table, remove her diaper, clean her with a wet cloth and dry her and put on a new diaper, all the while putting up with her relentless ear-shattering shrieks and howls. (Did I mention that she hated being put down on the changing table now?) Often times, having just been cleaned up and the next diaper on its way out of the bag, the little one discovers she forgot to pee in the previous diaper and does that on the changing table itself. Sometimes, directly on my hands. We scramble to prevent the pee from flowing onto the changing mattress and clean her up once again before putting on the next diaper. The shrieking and howling continues relentlessly.

Where Pee and Poop were causing such mayhem, how could the Burp stay behind? Having a really small tummy, she was always too full after a feeding session and appeared irritated, so I would lift her to my shoulder and pat on her back a bit in order to elicit a burp. But it wasn’t that easy. It still isn’t. Before we even pick her up for a burp, she throws up a mouthful of milk onto her chin, neck and clothes. It’s a race between her and us, can we pick her up in time to prevent her from vomiting? Even when we pick her up first, we need to hold her straight otherwise she simply vomits out all the milk and then wants to be fed again. Holding her straight was yet another challenge because she would start scratching my neck with her fingernails, pull at my collar and suck my shirt for milk, all the while throwing her little frail head around wildly while I struggle to hold it in place.

At other times, she would asleep while on the breast and wake up shortly afterwards to realize she has her mouth full of milk. Not knowing what to do with it she ends up coughing all of it out onto the tired mum, following the scene up with another burst of crying and maybe re-feeding.

So, the first 40 days with our little baby have been much tougher than I had ever imagined. There were times when it felt like either we were the worst parents or this was the most difficult baby ever. I often wondered why babies just don’t stop crying even though we were doing everything that they needed. I also wondered if there was something that all other parents knew, but not us, which made our parenting a bit worse.

But after the first 40-50 days, things have improved and we are now in a different phase with our baby. More on that later.

How has your experience been? Do let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Which Diapers do we use for our Newborn?

Which Diapers do we use for our Newborn?

We got quite a few diaper samples from the various babyboxes we had ordered. In addition, we also got a few discount coupons from promotions and other sources so we ended up buying quite a few different brands. These included Pampers, Libero Touch, Minstingen and Toujours (from LIDL). Here is a brief review of these diapers and how they worked for us.

  1. Libero Touch: Starts from Size 1, which is their smallest size. It is marked for weight category 2-5 kg. These were also the diapers that the hospital gave us when our baby was born. They were quite easy to put on, had an indicator which changes color to blue if the diaper was been soiled, and the fit was excellent for our baby. We found absolutely no leakages and it handled all loads equally well. At the end of 3 weeks, when I first started writing this post, our baby was still comfortable in this diaper, though now we had suspected that she might be about to grow out of this size. So, we did try Size 2 after a while and that worked absolutely fine as well. Our Review? Libero Touch was the best newborn diaper we have used. We also used Libero Newborn 2 for a while and it worked equally well. No complaints, except that it is a bit expensive compared to the other brands.
  2. Pampers New Baby: Also starts from Size 1 which is their smallest size. It is marked for weight category 2-5 kg. In our case, we tried these diapers a week or so after the baby was born but we found these to be slightly loose on the baby, as compared to Libero Touch Size 1. At around 3 weeks, we had already suspected that it leaked once slightly when our baby had filled it too much, but otherwise the diaper handled the load pretty well. Our baby is 2.5 months now and we have been using their Size 2 since over a month now. Theye are very good value for money and have done pretty well. However, it is worth noting that there have been quite a few instances when our baby pooped heavily and this diaper failed miserably to contain the load and the poop leaked from the top at the back side and spoiled all her back and clothes. I cannot say why there were such major leakages at times, but it could be because of too much poop and our baby was having a few problems with gas. But since we have not tried any other diaper during this gas problem, I cannot say if the leakage could have happened with other diapers or not.
    Verdict: I would rate the Libero Touch as having a much better and comfortable fit than Pampers, but the price per diaper is quite high for Libero. So, I would recommend you choose according to what works better for you.
  3. Toujours (only at LIDL stores): Starts from Size 2 which is their smallest size. It is marked for weight category 3-6 kg. In our case, we tried these diapers 2 weeks or so after the baby was born but we found these to be much bigger on the baby as compared to both Libero Touch Size 1 and Pampers New Baby Size 1. Now, it did leak once or twice when our baby had filled it too much, but that is understood because the diaper was obviously quite big on the baby. So, we decided to pause the use of these diapers and continue with Pampers and Libero. It wasn’t that this diaper was loose around the baby’s waste, it just seemed far longer at its lowest point when put on the baby and therefore there was a chance of leakage. We did continue using these diapers when our baby was around 4 weeks old and these started to fit quite well then. I don’t think we faced any more leakages, and even if there were, they were very minor. The good thing about Toujour is that they are lighter and much thinner than Pampers and Libero, without really losing a lot on capacity. I liked that. Toujour are also comparitively much much cheaper. It was therefore that we stuck to using Toujours a lot more than the others. Again, they do not perform as good as Libero/Pampers, but our approach was to use Toujours during normal course and put on Libero or Pampers at night when we expected a heavier load or if we were taking the baby out.
  4. Minstingen: Recently launched by Axfood AB and availale only in Sweden via Hemköp and Willys. We haven’t as yet been able to test these diapers since they start from size 3 and our little baby has still not grown into that category. However, working for Axfood myself, we recently got a lot of free samples to try and are looking forward to do that soon. One thing to note is that they appear to be good value for money since they are not as expensive as Libero. More on these later.

My recommendation: I have said this above and say it again. We liked the Libero Touch the best amongst all these diapers over the first few months. Their fit is really good. However, these are also the most expensive of all, whereas Toujour being the cheapest, was having the biggest fit and therefore slightly unsuited for newborns upto a few weeks. But after about 4 weeks, Toujour became our goto diapers for a couple of weeks until our baby became to big for them (week 6, maybe?). Pampers are priced between Libero Touch and Toujour, but their performance is also in between them both, and we found we used them the most after the baby reached 6 weeks and now we are already in week 9 and it looks like they might  fit another week.

And lastly, none of these diapers caused any diaper rash on our baby, but we did use diaper rash creams as a precaution once a day.

How has your experience been? Are there any other points worthy of noting when comparing these diapers? Do let me know by leaving a comment below.

And remember, you can always get in touch with me if you have any questions, by visiting my Contact page or emailing me at: peepoopburp@gmail.com.

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Traveling with Babies: Do you really need to buy a car seat?

maxi-cosi-pebbleFor a long time before our baby arrived, I was in two minds about whether to buy a car seat for our baby or not. Car seats can be expensive, considering the fact that we don’t even own a car. The only reason I was even thinking about buying a car seat was in order to bring the baby home from the hospital after delivery and for those rare occasions when we might need to hire a cab. Another occasion could have been when we flew to India with the baby. Though many airlines offer a bassinet for babies, they are limited in number for each flight and there is no guarantee that you will get one every time, and to travel long haul with a baby strapped to your chest or in your lap sounded to us like a big nightmare.

So, I had my eyes on a few car seats which were not too expensive and kept a check on any offers online as well as offline. It finally happened that I ended up buying the Maxi Cosi Pebble.

This car seat has very good reviews everywhere and is accepted on all major airlines. Its market price was around 2400 SEK, but I got an excellent deal for it via babyshop.se, where it only cost me 1200 SEK after discount. So, it was a great buy. I also had the option of buying the 349 SEK car seat from Biltema, and in retrospect I feel it would also have worked out just fine if I were only going to use it in taxis locally. But since my plan was also to use them on airplanes when we visit India, I wanted to have the most approved model so that there is no confusion with the staff on a plane.

But, do you really need a car seat to bring a baby home from the hospital after delivery? I found that if you called up a taxi company, such as Taxi Kurir, you could then ask them to send a taxi with a car seat. So you don’t really need one of your own, unless you actually own a car and intend to use it regularly. Otherwise, with a good stroller, the public transport in Stockholm is excellent and one doesn’t really need to travel around in a taxi. I do not intend to do that either and am looking forward to many metro and bus rides with our baby in her Bugaboo. But you need to decide what works best for you. For me, it was a great deal at a great price and I could afford it, so I went with it.

So, in a nutshell, my belief is that you do need a car seat if you have a car. This is quite obvious. However, if you don’t have a car, then you can consider saving that money and spending it on something else, considering that taxi companies do offer the facility if you call and book in advance. It all depends on how big a use you think it is going to be, will you be flying with your baby with this car seat? How long can you use the specific car seat before the baby outgrows it and needs another model? Can you get by with a cheaper model, like the one from BilTema I mentioned above? Another important factor to consider is how good a resale value a specific car seat has as that can reduce the final cost of ownership.

Do share your thoughts on this with me by commenting below.

Bugaboo Buffalo: The Stroller We Finally Bought

buffalo2

The very first stroller that we checked out many months ago, and which we ended up buying last week, was the Bugaboo Buffalo. Back in July, while my wife was still only 3 months pegnant, we were in a shopping mall when we decided to have a look at the strollers.

The first thing we noticed about Bugaboo strollers was how premium they look. The color schemes were perfect, none of the curves or edges on any of the models looked weird or out-of-place. We thought that the Bugaboo Cameleon looked pretty amazing as well. However, we were completely blown away by the Buffalo, considering that its big wheels and higher load capacity suited the way of life in Stockholm much more than the other models.

So, at first look, we knew this was the stroller we wanted. However, when we found out the price of the Buffalo (at 11,500 SEK / 1300 USD / 1,00,000 INR), we weren’t sure we could spend such a high amount on it. But then, we had many months to go before we decided.

Over the next few weeks and months I did more research on strollers. I asked a few people for suggestions but never got a definitive answer. But everyone did agree that the Buffalo was great product. Anyway, we saw the Britax Smile 2 stroller, which was (at roughly 5,600 SEK) almost half the price of the Buffalo and was highly recommended by the stores which sold them. It was even recommended by the website bäst-i-test.se, which I follow seriously for advice. We liked the Smile 2 quite a lot as well, but I thought the shape of the chassis at the front was an eye-sore. Yes, that was the only thing I disliked about it, while also aware that it had a lesser weight capacity than Buffalo, but then the price was also accordingly low. But later I was told by one of the sellers that this model had frequent complaints of flat tyres due to them being air-filled. This made me think back to the Buffalo, which had foam filled tyres.

We also looked at the EmmaLjunga strollers and I found them to be very pretty as well. I definitely liked them much more than Britax models, but even the EmmaLjunga were a bit expensive. However, the biggest drawback to these were that they did not fold compactly enough, which was important for us from storage perspective.

While we had an open mind about the strollers, we started noticing other parents with their strollers all around Stockholm. Many of them had the Bugaboo which, incidentally, was our first love. They looked amazing and always stood out. By this time, my tolerance for the price was increasing and I knew that I could afford to buy it if I so chose.

So, then why exactly the Buffalo?
During my research, I ascertained that the quality of the Bugaboo Buffalo was excellent. There was nothing about the stroller which did not work as claimed. The foam-filled tyres, and their 12-inch diameter and swivel front hinges make the Buffalo wonderfully easy to maneuver, and its all-terrain capability make it perfect for heavy snowy conditions as well as other rough terrain. The two-wheel position allows you to effortlessly drag the stroller in sand. The handle-bar can be adjusted to different heights, which suits me (5’10”) and my wife (5’2″) equally well. The carrycot and the seat unit are approved to carry a child of upto an astonishing 17 kg. Add to this the 10 kg allowed in the under-seat basket and another 6 kg for hanging a diaper bag on the handle-bar and what you have is an actual Buffalo that carries all your load. And we tested the stroller with all these loads at a store and it made no difference to its maneuverability at all. It still moved equally smooth. The fabric colors were excellent and the canopy could be extended all the way down to completely cover the baby in very sunny conditions. And when folded, the Buffalo is deceptively compact.

Yes, there still were two downside to the Buffalo: its price and the fact that it weighs over 15 (or 17?) kg itself. The weight was a bigger concern for us because we weren’t sure if my wife would be able to handle it when moving around in metros and busses. But during the tests, she actually found this stroller easier to move around than the other lighter strollers from other companies. Moreover, the public transport infrastructure in Stockholm is so good that there is no place one cannot reach with a stroller.

As to the price, let me start by saying that nowhere in my research on the internet did I find a review of the Buffalo which said that they were overpriced for what they offered. The stroller is built like a tank, yet very easy to move with. It is the perfect combination of utility and aesthetics. The design is great and owners have been very happy. It comes with a 2+1 years extra warranty and I have heard that the stroller easily has a life of 5-7 years. And even then, the resale value is great as well. Considering all this, one could hardly call the Buffalo overpriced.

Finally, we decided that the first stroller we saw and fell in love with was actually a great product. We bought it at BabyTown, which is a nice little store in Stockholm and offered us a discount, which made it a much better deal for us. However, it is also possible to buy it online from the store BabyPlus in Netherlands. I have heard excellent reviews of this store (translate this link from Swedish to English and read in detail), they offer excellent discounts on the strollers and the accessories and ship to Sweden for only 20 Euros, and am quite convinced that they provide good service. The upside to buying the stroller from a store in Sweden is that you get förlossningsgaranti, which means that you can return the stroller and get your full money back in case something goes wrong with the pregnancy.

So, which stroller should you buy?
I realized that chosing the right stroller for one’s baby can be tough because different people have different needs. For some, the aesthetics are very important, while for others the budget is supreme. But going through all the tests, I discovered that there is no wrong choice. After all, I’ve never seen any strollers break up on the roads or children falling out because these were unstable. So, one must choose a stroller that they are comfortable with, and which they will enjoy carrying their baby around in, be it Bugaboo, Britax, EmmaLjunga, or any other brand. They all work just fine. For us, it was a stroller we loved at first sight, which we also found we could afford. So, we went with it and hope to have a nice time with our baby in it soon.

Do share with me how you decided on your stroller or if you have any questions.

Our First List of Baby Stuff to Buy

Our First List of Baby Stuff to Buy

When preparing for the arrival of a baby, buying the right stuff for it seems like a monumental task. Specially for new parents like us, who also need to figure out the What, When and Where from. Researching online has thrown up so much information that my initial list has now grown past 40 items.

newborn_list

Should I buy from H&M or other baby stores? Should I buy from an online store that is cheaper and delivers to Sweden? What should I do? And how soon?

I am just baffled. Does a tiny little baby that does not demand anything really need so many things to begin with? Do even adults with desires have so many things of their own?

Anyway, the first step for me to begin with is to divide the whole list into 2 parts: The Really Big Stuff and The Small Stuff.

The Really Big Stuff
This list, as the name suggests, contains stuff that is big in size as well as big in price such as Stroller, Car Seat, Baby Crib, Mattress, Baby Gym, etc.

This list is easier to make, since it contains so little, but difficult to fulfil. It has been months since we started looking into the various Stroller models across Stockholm but the problem is that we end up liking everything that we see. The price, the utility each model offers, etc. everything is so confusing. Similarly with the car seat. We don’t have a car, but do we need a car seat anyway? Will we need one when we take a flight with our baby? Do we need a baby crib right in the beginning or can it sleep in a Baby Nest instead? And so on.

The Small Stuff
This is the really tricky stuff and it seems to me that this list almost never ends, but keeps on growing. The stuff here might not be as expensive individually, but put together, they might surpass even the big stuff. Though it might seem easy, but when I think about which onsies to buy, how many, what size, what will they cost, etc., I feel overwhelmed and give up the decision-making for “later”.

For the sake of sanity, I have stopped adding more stuff to this list. The point of my post is not to overwhelm you but to show you how overwhelmed I myself am thinking about what to buy for our baby, which is due in January 2017.

Right now, I have no idea how I am going to start the shopping, let alone fulfilling everything in this list. With exactly four months to go before the baby is expected to come, it sometimes feel like we have a lot of time while at other times I feel a sense of panic. Adding to that the fact that we decided not to find out the sex of the baby, it has made our choices even more difficult because now we can’t even decide on the colors: whether it will be pink or blue. Hello Kitty or Batman?

I wish there was an easier way a first time parent like me could have my answers. Do you have any answers?