Why we bought a Baby Carrier and you should too!

Why we bought a Baby Carrier and you should too!

I had had a baby carrier in my list of things to buy while expecting our baby. Over time, I had done my research and decided that if I ever had to, I would buy the ErgoBaby 360 baby carrier. The reason I did not buy it in advance was because I wasn’t sure whether we really would need a baby carrier. I mean, I knew what it was for and how it could be beneficial, but the really high price (around $160 or SEK1500) made me put the decision on hold and buy it only if it deemed necessary. There are so many products out there and thanks to their marketing, everything seems necessary to first time parents.

Anyway, the first few weeks that I was home on parental leave with my wife and baby, we managed just fine as we also had my mom with us for help. All day long, either of us would take care of the baby so that no one in particular had to  stress out all the time. Despite this, within a few days I had started to feel my back hurt. Ditto for my wife as well. The reason wasn’t that the baby was so heavy (3 kg is nothing), but that your posture changes when you’re holding her up so much and it puts a lot of stress on the lower back. Over short terms, it doesn’t affect you much, but it takes a few days to start feeling the effect. At this stage, I did reconsider buying the baby carrier but the real push came a few days later when my mom left us and my wife and I were finally on our own.

On the very first day, my wife called me up at work around noon and told me that she felt absolutely tired because of holding the baby all day long and she wasn’t even able to prepare any food for herself. Her back was killing her and it was only day one of taking care of the baby alone by herself. I could hear in her voice how difficult she felt the situation was. I wasted no time and went online and purchased the ErgoBaby 360 from babyland.se and selected the same day delivery option. Fortunately, the delivery was free because the order was above SEK 1000 and we got the package delivered home the very same evening.

Did the baby carrier help us at all? It absolutely did. The first time I wore it around me with the baby in it, I could immediately feel the difference. My arms were finally free and by my side while the baby was held close to my chest and absolutely still. No longer was I forced to stand in an uncomfortable position in order to hold her correctly. Her head was just under my chin and I only had to bend my neck down in order to kiss her head. And the baby? She was so comfortable, she slept for over 1 hour in that position in the carrier. It was fairly easy for me to inspect her posture and ensure she was sitting comfortably inside the carrier. I did not feel any weight because the carrier’s thick band around my waist ditributed it very well. When I moved, it did not feel that it disturbed the baby at all. And so I spent the next one hour walking around our apartment, watching TV while standing, then sitting down for a while and getting up again. I joined my wife in the kitchen while she made something for us to eat. During dinner, I unfolded the head cover from the carriers front top pocket and covered the baby’s head so that I didn’t spill any food onto her. And it all worked just fine.

During the first couple of days itself we realized what a life saver the ErgoBaby 360 was for us. Though my wife finds it a bit difficult to put on by herself, I attribute that to her lack of practice rather than a problem with the product, though to be fair, it does take a bit of skill (but that is why you need some practice).

One of the reasons why I chose the ErgoBaby 360 over others was that I read more good reviews about this baby carrier than any other. My favourite review site bäst-i-test.se (though only in Swedish) also listed this as no. 1 and I usually take their recommendations without question. This carrier has a good build, a wide waistband and comfortable shoulder straps to distribute the baby’s weight well. For a newborn who cannot support her head during the first few months, one needs an ErgoBaby infant insert which is bought separately, but I purchased the ErgoBaby 360 Start Paket, which includes the infant insert.

Of course, ErgoBaby 360 isn’t the only option in the market. Another good option is to buy the BabyBjörn One baby carrier. It has equally good reviews as the ErgoBaby 360 and is comparatively slightly cheaper. Personally, I haven’t tried out any other baby carriers myself, but am quite convinced that these two are the best of the lot.

So, what should you consider while buying a baby carrier?

First and foremost, is the price. Can you afford a ErgoBaby 360 Start Paket (incl. Infant insert), which has a marked price of roughly SEK 1500 (I got it for approx. 1200 after discount on babyland.se). If not, there is no problem in going for a cheaper option by looking at other ErgoBaby models and the Babybjörn models. (There are some other brands also, but I haven’t done any research on them.)

Is the baby sitting in an ergonomic position in the carrier? Babies are supposed to sit in frog position and having the correct ergonomics is very important. ErgoBaby360 had the best ergonomics of the lot that I could figure out and therefore I went with it. Some older models of BabyBjörn were heavily criticized for not been ergonomic but the BabyBjörn One, released in 2015, has fixed that. So, do consider the ergonomics.

How long are you going to use the baby carrier that you are planning to buy? Is your child’s age/weight close to the upper limit for that carrier? Is it worth spending more on a carrier if you are going to use it for a shorter durations?

Material. Think about where you will be using the baby carrier. Will it be a hot environment or cold? Does the carrier that you are considering look like the baby will feel too hot in it if the environment is such? Having a mesh instead can help cool the baby down but it can get dirty easily and might cause a rash to the baby if it is expeosed to her skin. Is the material Oeko-tex certified? This basically means that the fabric is free from hazardous sunstances.

Baby position in the carrier: There are some carriers, such as the ErgoBaby 360 which allow the baby to sit in 4 positions: Front Carry Facing You, Front Carry Facing the World, Back Carry (like a backpack) and Carry on Hip. Not all carriers allow all 4 positions, so think about how you intend to carry your baby and invest accordingly.

These are the factors that I could include in this post and already, the post has become quite long. So, in a nutshell, our baby carrier turned out to be a life saver for us and it gives us the comfort and freedom we longed for without letting our baby out of site.

What do you think about this? Are you using or planning to use a baby carrier? Do share your experience by commenting 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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What’s in our Diaper Bag?

What’s in our Diaper Bag?

In the months leading up to the birth of our baby girl, I spent a lot of time researching what should go in our diaper bag. I know, I know, what some might say. That it is the job of mums and not dads to plan diaper bags, and my wife complains just as much that I never let her do it either, but what can I say? I just love doing this stuff.

So, coming back to our diaper bag. Let me start with the bag itself. We bought a Skip Hop Chelsea (Black) even though, at around £85, it was far more expensive than I had earlier budgeted for. There were other very pretty bags, and I liked the Elodie Details diaper bags in particular but my wife did not like them too much. So finally, we decided on the Skip Hop Chelsea for these reasons:

  1. It had a lot of different pockets and compartments outside as well as inside and seemed easier to organize the stuff.
  2. It is of very good build and will last us a long time.
  3. Its looks are elegant and classy and i thought my wife can easily carry it anywhere and it will look decent.

But do not think that I am recommending this bag to you over all others. This was just something that we liked personally but your choice might well be different.

So, that was the diaper bag. Now, what do we have in it?

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  1. Diapers: We have a collection on Libero Touch, Pampers and Toujours diapers at home and which ones we carry is not that important here. But we make sure that we have 3-4 diapers in the diaper bag which we do not touch at home. The reason for just so few is that we know we will never be away from home for more than 3 hours, so 3-4 diapers are enough. They also act as a buffer in case we run out of our regular supply at home. These can last us half a day.
  2. Waste bags: to dispose of those soiled diapers. We bought a pack of Libero waste bags which contain 45 pcs and we think they should suffice for a really long time.
  3. Diaper Creams: I had researched and asked a few friends about which diaper creams are good. We had also ordered some free babyboxes earlier which came with some sample creams. These, because they are small in size, take very little space in the bag and we know in the beginning that their use will also be very limited. The bigger sized creams we have are stored on our changing table and if we need to carry them with us in future, we will simply pick them up. We are using Bepanthen and Inotyol as diaper changing creams. We are also carrying samples of Burt’s Bee nourishing lotion, a small bottle of Libero baby oil, some unperfumed baby creams by Apoteksgruppen. Another body lotion that we have is one we found at the children’s clinic (Barnavårdscentralen in Sweden) as well and the nurse recommended it as safe for use on our baby’s body and face: Decubal basic, original clinic cream. Remember that all creams that we use on Babies must be without perfumes, colourants or parabens.
  4. Wet wipes: We find it practical to keep small packs of wet wipes (pack of 24 pcs) handy in the bag. At home we avoid using these packaged wipes, instead we soak dry wipes (see next point) in water and use them to clean the baby, whether it is just a sponge on her body or while cleaning her during a diaper change. But when outside, the wet wipe packs come in very handy. The only thing to look for is that the wipes should not contain any perfume or other chemicals.
  5. Wash cloths: in Sweden, they are also called Tvättlappar, and they are the recommend option. Our midwife told us not to use wet wipes, but dip these tvättlappar in water and use them for cleaning instead. One can either buy reusable (at grocery stores such as Hemköp) or disposable wash cloths.
  6. Hand towels: a couple of these, just in case.
  7. Changing pad and mats: Our diaper bag comes with its own changing pad which, though not an ideal solution, is definitely a life saver and can be easily cleaned. We also have a few single-use waterproof mats, or the Libero Changing Mats, which we got for free from the hospital. These come in handy too as they protect the changing pad from getting dirty.
  8. Pacifiers: in the beginning, we were very apprehensive of pacifiers and, though we have a few at home, we never included them in the diaper bag. However, on one of our short trips in the city, our baby girl started to cry bloody murder on the way back and at that time, we sorely missed having a pacifier at hand for such desperate moments. So keep a couple in case the baby spits out one onto the floor.
  9. Nasal Spray: we carry the salt water spray from Näsfrida. This contains no chemicals and is super useful if the baby has congestion in its nose due to cold. Just spray it into either nostril and it makes the mucus soft and allows the baby to breathe easy and can be administered as many times a day as needed.
  10. Spare change of Onesies, Caps, Mittens, Socks: you never know when the baby feels a little more cold or when the clothes she has on get soiled by a diaper malfunction.
  11. Nursing Pads: We have a box of nursing pads at home, but we have also kept 2-3 pcs of them in our diaper bag in case my wife is nursing away from home and there is leakage. You can either buy branded, such as Libero, or buy the local department store brands, such as COOP, Hemköp, and others.
  12. A small rattle toy to distract the baby.
  13. Cotton pads for wiping off dirt or oil from the baby’s face.
  14. A couple of bibs and burp cloths.
  15. A spare feeding bottle.
  16. Waterproof adhesive bandage for the baby.
  17. Lip balm for the parents, because you never know when you miss it.

You might also consider adding some spare cash for emergencies, a contact information card in case you misplace the bag, and any regular medicines that you yourself take.

So, what do you have in your diaper bag? Any recommendations? Do let me know by commenting 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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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?