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In search of product advice - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
In search of product advice
Yes, for a radical change of pace I actually want advice. Specifically on baby gear, but I'm in the mood to entertain all sorts of advice right now.

The new top of the list on things I want advice on... I need some sort of baby soothing device, preferably of the sort where it's OK to let the baby fall asleep in it. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a description of a pack and play that had some sort of vibrate feature. Back then I thought that might be handy, as of today I'm thinking it's crucial. I need something that has every bell and whistle on it in the promotes sleep department, vibrating, white noise, whatever. Based on last night's kicking session (midnight to 4:30 am), and the continued activity throughout the day today, I have the sneaking suspicion that once she's born the baby is not going to drift angelically off on her own just because her belly is full. I'm perfectly willing to let a baby fuss it out and learn to self soothe once it's a few months old, but I don't think that's a good idea with a newborn.

Another thing I need advice on is a breast pump. I'll need it for when I go back to work. Ideally I want something that uses a battery and can be transported to work. Leaving my hand free would be nice too. I'd prefer to pay extra and get something that was good quality than to end up with something not as nice as I'd like.

Along those lines, I also need a good book on breastfeeding. I've already gotten one recommendation from enugent and I was wondering if anyone else had some input. What I'm looking for is something with a good trouble-shooting section. I absolutely do not need something that's all preachy about how great breastfeeding is, such a book will turn me off. What I do need is something that gives a rundown of different nursing positions to try and what to do when things don't go so well.

Current Mood: sleepy sleepy

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Comments
remcat From: remcat Date: March 15th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
For maximum soothing options ... they make these great battery-operated swings that have both cradle and seat modes (cradle for newborns, natch). The cradle can be oriented so the swing is either side-to-side or back-and-forth. I believe it comes with vibrations, music, and attached toys. Whatever you do, don't get a hand-crank swing. It sucks if baby falls asleep, the crank winds down, and then they wake up when you re-crank it.

If things haven't changed, the electric/battery Medela Pump In Style is still the cadillac of breast pumps. If you'll be pumping a lot at work, it's worth it to buy one. Don't buy a used one -- the inner workings wear out in just a year or two, plus you'd have to buy all new tubing anyway.

I liked "Womanly Art of BF" for reference (not to read cover-to-cover). I also like "So That's What They're For" for friendly, practical advice, but it might be too goofy for what you're looking for.
enugent From: enugent Date: March 15th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell exactly which baby-soothing device will work for your baby. Some are addicted to the swing; some hate the swing. Some like the vibrating bouncy seat; some don't. Some nod off immediately in a sling; some stay up forever. I've never seen a vibrating Pack 'n' Play, but I suspect the same principle applies. The one thing you do need to have on hand is Happiest Baby on the Block, which will teach you strategies for calming her. I also recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, which has less specific information for the newborn period but will last much longer.

For a breast pump, you want a Medela Pump in Style - accept no substitutes, unless you decide to rent a hospital pump instead (you'll probably end up with a Medela Lactina). Also get the Medela hands-free kit, if you can find it - it's often backordered. The instructions say you need a Medela bra to use it, but in fact all you need is a couple of safety pins to use it with any nursing bra. The Avent Isis is supposed to be a great hand pump for when you don't want to lug around the electric, too.

For a troubleshooting nursing book, in addition to Nursing Mother, Working Mother, which I already recommended, you actually can do pretty well just by haunting KellyMom. The breastfeeding bible is Jack Newman's Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, which has stuff talking about how wonderful breastfeeding is, but is also very comprehensive in its problem-solving suggestions.
enugent From: enugent Date: March 17th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and on the Pump in Style - you can often find unopened ones on ebay for substantially less than retail (mostly from medical supply places), so check there before you order from amazon or someplace like that. Ebay is also probably the best bet for finding the hands-free kit, and any extra tubing or pump horns or other supplies. You will want more of the little bottles than come with the pump, and an extra set of pump horns can make it easier to deal with the washing up. The Medela microwave sterilizer bags are also really nice - just be aware that you need to remember to take the hands-free attachments off the pump horns before you use them. I melted my first set.
countertorque From: countertorque Date: March 17th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
+1 for Happiest Baby on the Block. What's Going On in There? is another great book about how baby brains work. Although it won't address any of the specific concerns you're asking about here.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: March 18th, 2008 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually have a copy of What's Going On In There, my sister sent me hers, so you're in good company on that recommendation.
jaedian From: jaedian Date: March 22nd, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Advice

I meant to post awhile ago, but I wasn't at my regular keyboard.

I like the Womanly Art of BF. It probably has some preachy stuff in there but I know it also has troubleshooting. I have two copies (two different editions) so you can have one of them if you want. We brought ours with us to the hospital. (Also a breastfeeding pillow might be a plus, the pillows in the hospital were awful. )

I have heard good things about the lactina. I always rented mine from the hospital but I only needed to pump for short periods. THe hospital pumps were great though. Probably no battery operation though and not too quiet.

You might want to go to a La Leche League meeting before your due date. They can have preachy bits, but they are mostly about support. Usually the other moms do a lot of talking not the leaders. But I think it is worth meeting the leaders face to face because then you won't feel as shy about calling them if you have an issue. And bf issues always seem to happen late at night etc. With a newborn you need to fix things quickly too. The Arlington group meets evenings and was the one I attended when I lived in Somerville. And I know there were a decent number of working moms who attended. http://www.llleus.org/web/ArlingtonCambridgeMa.html
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