Feb 16, 2017
Read Baby Stuff part 1 here
I remember calling one of my older sisters from the car seat aisle at Babies R Us when I was pregnant with my first, asking her how in the world I was supposed to be able to know the differences between all the various car seats, let alone choose one. She gave me some sage advice (“Katie, they all meet US safety standards, just go with a cheap one that doesn’t take up too much room”) and I left the store and later bought one for $50 somewhere else.
But I remember that feeling of being totally overwhelmed and hopelessly clueless. There are just only so many things you can research and read reviews about when it comes to baby products and even all of that won’t save you from that how-dumb-am-I/what-a-waste-of-money feeling that inevitably washes over you when your baby rejects 1/3 of the things you bought anyway. I mean it’s good, in some ways, that there are a billion and one baby products out there because babies are so different and some like/need different things and all the stuff exists for a reason I suppose, but sometimes it can be downright overwhelming to sift through all the “must-haves” and figure out what you and your baby will actually like and use.
I was thinking about all this again today as I read through more Amazon reviews than I ever cared to read and played the gambling game at making some more decisions. I’ve never been much of a researcher–it’s just not my thing. I know some people love pouring over reviews and articles about stuff, but I’d so much rather just walk into Target and buy the thing and get it over with. Unfortunately, as I’ve learned after buying and borrowing a wide variety of stuff for two children already, that theory only works well about half of the time (bah!), so I’ve been trying to be more purposeful about the buys I make this time around. Luckily this isn’t my first rodeo and I can at least fall back on what my babies and I preferred before and compare that against some of the newer things that have come out in the mean time.
And in case you’re confused about why I’m starting from scratch with baby products even though this is my third, perhaps this would be a good time for me to pause and interject that, yeah, we had gotten rid of all our baby stuff. Between our many moves and the fact that (cough) I thought we were done having children (cough), we had resold or given away all our baby stuff except for our pack & play and some clothes that were special to each of our kids. Not that this baby was a surprise–we planned and prayed for it–it just didn’t become part of our plans until a few months ago when out of nowhere I felt impressed that we were supposed to have more kids. So there you go.
Anyway, all this to say, I spent a lot of time on Amazon today. And have a few things to show for it.
First of all, I’m happy to report that I finally called my insurance to see if they cover breastpumps and it turns out they do. And it was way easier to order one through them than I had anticipated. (I confess my plan A was to just avoid calling them and dealing with the hassle and just buy the breastpump out of pocket, but at the last minute I figured I should at least call and check first. Good thing cuz it saved me $150. Thanks insurance. High five, me.) They looked up my plan, told me I was covered for a breastpump 100%, and then sent me a long list of suppliers I could call/look at their websites to order the pump I wanted. I ended up ordering from YummyMummy, mainly because it looked like they were used to handling these orders. From the bit of poking around I did on their site, it looks like they work with a ton of different insurance plans, so if you’re trying to figure this out, they might be a good place to call and get some information.
They have a short list of breastpumps that are covered by insurance that you get to choose from. I had already decided I was going to get this Medela one (either buying it on Amazon or getting it through insurance) since I had used it before and liked it more than a couple other brands I had borrowed from friends in the past. I don’t think the one I’ll get from them comes with any bottle rings or nipples (so, ya know, no way to actually get the food in the baby later–oh the irony), but whatevs. It was still saving me $150 and I was gonna have to buy more bottles anyway. So the order has been placed. They’ll process it through my insurance and then ship it to me once all that’s done. Since the baby’s not due until the beginning of July, apparently they won’t start processing the order through my insurance until March or April (???), but it’ll still come well before the baby’s born, so ok. Breastpump: check.
And in case you’re wondering (which you’re probably not, but whatevs), my plan A when it comes to feeding my baby is to mostly breastfeed and then also pump (preferably no more than once a day) and freeze the pumped milk so Bryan or a babysitter can feed it to the baby when we’re on dates or I just need a break for my own sanity. That’s what we did with Olivia and I really liked it. She did great with both breastfeeding and bottles (we had used both regularly like I just mentioned from the beginning) and it was a good fit for our family. Also I kinda hallucinated (heh heh–insert crazy scary lady face) when I had to wake up to breastfeed her at night, so Bryan usually got up with her and used the pumped milk for nighttime feedings. Though even with all that, by the time I weaned her around 10 months I still had enough pumped milk leftover to donate to a milk bank.
And we didn’t know until Felix was about a year old, but he was lip tied and didn’t get enough food from breastfeeding (probably because he wasn’t getting a good latch), so at around 2 months we switched him to formula exclusively (my milk supply was almost non-existent by then) and we all lived happily after.
Really hoping to have things go more like they did with Olivia this time around, but you never know. At least now I’ll hopefully be a little more aware of signs to look for about the baby being possibly lip/tongue tied and be on guard for the possibility of a dwindling milk supply and be more proactive about taking care of those kinds of problems while we still have options. Not that I’m crazy anti-formula, it’s just expensive and I’d prefer to breastfeed or at least pump and bottle feed if I can.
I also went ahead and bought this pack & play mattress that had all good reviews and a couple sheets to go with it. As I mentioned in this previous riveting post where I rambled on and on about baby stuff that we have/need, the pack & play we currently have (similar to this one) is still in great condition (ya know, considering it’s been through two kids already), but the bottom part is kinda warped, so we were trying to decide between getting a mattress for it or just buying an actual crib. As much as cribs are infinitely prettier and more charming, pack & plays are just way more convenient and cost-effective, especially considering we already have one, so when I found the mattress with the good reviews I figured we’d just go that route. I feel good (if not totally un-charming) about it.
And to keep this post from getting any more ridiculously over-the-top long and boring than it already is, these are the other baby things I researched a ton and then went ahead and bought today:
- boppy and cover
- this nipple shield–They gave me one at the hospital when I had Olivia and it was a lifesaver during those first few days of breastfeeding and the few times later when my nipples got super sore for different reasons. I had gotten rid of it by the time I had Felix and the hospital where he was born wouldn’t give them out, but it was worth it to me to go out and buy one. But of course now I’ve gotten rid of that one too. (eye roll, me)
- also these nipple shields, but honestly just because it was cheaper than buying a separate case. Not that the case is necessary, but after having them roll around in the diaper bag and seeing them get covered with lint and crumbs or worrying that it was lost or had accidentally gotten thrown away, I figured it was worth the $4.40 to, ya know, try and be more sanitary and less grossy. Plus, who knows, maybe the nipple shields that come with this case will actually be good too and then I’ll have enough to breastfeed my one baby on all three boobs at once.
- these 4 oz bottles and these 9 oz bottles and these variable flow and fast flow bottle nipples–I was going to order the Medela bottles that go with the pump, but then I remembered that we had used these Avent brand bottles with our kids before and liked them better than some of the other brands we’d tried, so, the end.
- these breastmilk storage bags
- these baby links (which, yeah, are toys, but also come in really handy for hanging baby toys on the car seat handle and stroller and stuff)
And I thought I had ordered nursing pads too, but apparently I didn’t. Whatevs. I still have until, ya know, June to take care of that. So, the end… for now.
Can’t wait to find out this baby’s gender TOMORROW! (<–Oprah voice) Everyone pray for uncrossed legs!