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Kryz Uy’s Ultimate Guide for Parents

Parenting Must-Haves Kryz Uy’s Top Product Picks

Hi Everyone!

Kryz here. It feels so strange to be writing a blog post again after so long, but here we are! 

Let’s start with a quick introduction, shall we? 

I started my content creation journey back in the year 2009. At that time, there was no such thing as social media. I wrote heavily on my website called a “blog.” As a college student back then, I wrote mainly about the things that interested me- fashion and beauty. Fast forward fourteen years later (OMG, how long it’s been!), my online hobby has become a full-time job. 

I’ve become a pioneer in the digital space and a content creator across all digital social platforms. My topics have also grown with me. I’ve become a mom of 2, and my content is now focused on life at home, raising my kids, and discovering products along the way that help me become the best mom I can be. 

Because of this, I work with a lot of brands and test products hoping to find gems to recommend to my audience. My peers always ask me which stroller is the best, or which diaper I am using. I’ve become a walking product catalog! 

If you are a first-time parent or just someone that needs a refresher on the current things in the market, I know it can be overwhelming to shop for your needs. There are so many things being marketed online, and some of them aren’t really essential. What things are must-haves, and which ones are just fluff? 

Most of the recommended items aren’t available here in the Philippines, so which alternatives can I purchase without having to worry about shipping? I’m here to help you with that. 

Bamama is a great way to share my tried and tested favorites to everyone. Listed below are some of the items that I definitely can not live without as a mom. Hoping you will find them useful on your parenting journey too!

Nursery Essentials

One of the things I really enjoyed was preparing a space for my newborn. “Nesting” was a way for me to channel my excitement and have an excuse to shop! Shhh don’t tell my husband.

Choosing the Perfect Crib and Mattress

Choosing the Perfect Crib and Mattress

There are so many options when it comes to where your baby will sleep. Do we want a crib? A baby cot? Do I start with a bassinet? All will have its own list of pros and cons.

With my second baby, I started with a bassinet. As much as I would have loved to cuddle with my baby as a newborn, I have read too many horror stories about co-sleeping. I was determined to keep my baby safe in his own space and reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

I got myself the Mamas and Papas Lua Bedside Crib/Bassinet which fit so well in our room. The design was beautiful. The sides were made of a breathable fabric, so there would be enough ventilation to keep the baby cool. It was easy to install (proudly, did it myself!), and had a place to store all my nighttime essentials at the bottom, like diapers, wipes, a spare change of clothes- etc. It was small enough to fit in our room without taking up too much space. 

Since one side of the bassinet could be adjusted or lowered, I positioned it right beside my side of the bed. When my baby needed me in the middle of the night, I didn’t have to get up and walk over to check up on him. I just had to roll on to the side he was on, and check if he was okay. Seems like a small thing, but trust me, newborns wake up every 1-2 hours at night. It matters!

Mamas and Papas Lua Bedside Crib

Mamas and Papas Lua Bedside Crib

If you want other options, here are some I’ve found online. I haven’t tried them myself, but they look pretty good!

Lily and Tucker Layla Bassinet

Lily and Tucker Layla Bassinet

Chicco Lullago

Chicco Lullago

Chicco Next2Me Essential CoSleeper Crib

Chicco Next2Me Essential CoSleeper Crib

Tutti Bambini CoZee Bedside Crib

Tutti Bambini CoZee Bedside Crib

The problem with a bassinet is that you can’t use it for too long. Once my baby started to roll on his belly by himself, I was no longer confident that the bassinet could hold him securely. He was also an extremely chunky baby, so our cute little bassinet really only lasted a few months. 

An alternative to starting off with a bassinet would be to go straight into a crib. A crib is great to fill the space if you have a big room. There are cribs that can transition into a toddler bed, so you can use it even when your LO (loved one) is ready to move to the next stage. For those that care about creating an aesthetic space, a crib can provide the perfect anchor on which to tie all your decor around. 

I personally used the Lily and Tucker Cooper Crib for both my kids. It was easy to install and the design was basic enough to match most existing room decors. It’s made of New Zealand Pine wood that feels classy and substantial at the same time (it can hold up to 35kgs!). It’s a 4-in-1 crib that allows you to use it as a standard crib, co-sleeper, toddler bed or sofa. Although we didn’t use it as a co-sleeper like the bassinet because it was a little too big for our room. Like any crib, you can adjust the height of the mattress to 5 different levels depending on your baby’s needs. When the baby can move around more, you can adjust the crib so the mattress sits lower, preventing any falls. 

Lily and Tucker Cooper Crib

Lily and Tucker Cooper Crib

If you need more options, I’ve found some of these other alternatives for you online:

Lily and Tucker Avery 3 in 1 Crib

Lily and Tucker Avery 3-in-1 Crib

Bonjour Baby Convertible Crib

Bonjour Baby Convertible Crib

Cuddlebug Fontana 2 in 1 Crib

Cuddlebug Fontana 2-in-1 Crib

Hamlet Kids Room Cerise 4 in 1 Convertible Crib

Hamlet Kids Room Cerise 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

When you opt for a crib, you will need to get yourself a baby mattress too. Usually these come sold separately. Adult mattresses are not recommended for newborns as they are much too soft and can cause suffocation or SIDS if your baby rolls over and gets his/her nose stuck flat on the foam. 

Baby mattresses are breathable and firm. The one I used is from Tiny Winks called the Premium Crib Mattress. I chose this particular one because it’s hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-dust mites and anti-odor. It also comes with a washable cover that’s water repellent, and is approved by pediatric therapists.

Tiny Winks Premium Crib Mattress

Tiny Winks Premium Crib Mattress

Here are some other options I’ve found that you might like to consider:

Cuddlebug Cool Comfort Crib Mattress

Cuddlebug Cool Comfort Crib Mattress

Tiny Winks Classic Crib Mattress

Tiny Winks Classic Crib Mattress

On the flip side, even though the crib I chose was convertible, my sons were never fully able to use it to its maximum potential. I found it frustrating that their arms and legs would slip through the slots/rails, and would wake them up in the middle of the night. When you are a sleep deprived newborn mama, you need all the rest you can get. This only happens when the baby is asleep, and the crib was making it harder for them to stay asleep. 

I thought about adding foam bumpers to the sides to keep this from happening, but then I read that anything outside of a flat sheet and mattress on the crib are not recommended. Other accessories like pillows, blankets, bumpers and the like could also lead to SIDS. So, I decided to transition into a baby cot instead.

If God ever grants me a 3rd baby, I would definitely go for a baby cot all the way. As a practical mama, it makes the most sense. It’s small enough to fit in your room if you prefer to room-share, but can also replace a crib easily in the baby’s nursery. There are no slots for arms and legs to get stuck in, but a breathable mesh that allows ventilation to pass through. 

Similar to the crib, you can adjust the height of the mattress where the baby sleeps, depending on the stage he is at. I even went so far as using the playpen as my changing table. You can really add more use cases to these items the more you use them! 

And my favorite perk- you can bring it around when you travel so the baby is familiar with his sleeping space, even when you are in a whole new environment. More sleep for baby = a happy mama! 

I used the Nuna Sena Aire Travel Cot, and I still use it today. I love the sleek design, and how I can easily assemble and disassemble it in seconds. When you are traveling with a baby, sometimes being able to set up your baby cot with one hand really comes in handy. 

It comes with a soft quilted mattress and a sturdy aluminum frame.Since it comes with an upper cot, I was able to use this as early as 3 months when I transitioned my baby out of his bassinet. However, you can really start using this cot as early as you want.

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Cot

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Cot

Here are other options you might like to consider:

Joie Commuter Change _ Snooze Travel Cot

Joie Commuter Change & Snooze Travel Cot

Graco Pack N Play Anywhere Dreamer

Graco Pack N Play Anywhere Dreamer

Chicco FastAsleep Bedside Baby Crib

Chicco FastAsleep Bedside Baby Crib

All this being said, I recently stumbled upon an all-in-one co-sleeper crib that I wish I had known about when my kids were little. It’s called the ChiccoNext2Me Forever CoSleeper Crib and it really ticks all the boxes for me. Since one side can be rolled down, it could be used as a co-sleeping cot or bassinet. It can also transition into a traditional cot and eventually into a floor bed for toddlers. 

What makes this toddler bed unique is that it sits on the floor, so there is less risk for falling from elevated surfaces. My 3-year-old rolls around in his sleep, so this would actually be great for him. Plus, once it’s a floor bed, one side can be opened up so the child has the ability to crawl in and out great for stimulating independence. 

Basically, it’s similar to the convertible crib we discussed earlier, but it doesn’t have wooden slots for hands and legs to get stuck in. It comes in the same mesh design as traditional cots, which allows for proper ventilation when the babies are sleeping.  Honestly, though, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but considering all of the functions and being able to use it for years- it’s a game changer.

Rock-a-Bye, Baby: Rocking Chair or Glider Picks

One of the most important things in my nursery is definitely my Rocking Chair. I breastfed both my babies, and if you are planning to do the same, you need to hear me out. 

Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my whole life. It takes a lot of sacrifice, patience, determination and self-talk- all while recovering from labor, and maneuvering your role as a new mom. 

My breastfeeding chair- at the bare minimum- had to be the most comfortable place in the world for me to do what I needed to do. 

Aside from comfort, my requirements for a good chair are:

  1. Leather- to easily wipe away any spilled milk (which I did cry over, I’m not gonna lie)
  2. Reclinable and with leg rests- sometimes it takes 30-50 minutes to finish one breastfeeding session, and that can really take a toll on your back
  3. Rockable- although I don’t really recommend rocking your baby to sleep, this feature just might come in handy when you are desperate (no judgement here!)

I got my recliner as a hand me down from my family, so I don’t really have any products in particular that I can recommend.

Playmats

Playmats

I wish I could put playmats all over our house. They are so soft and functional, and easier to clean than baby rugs. You can wipe them down in case of any accidents, without needing to throw them in the washer-dryer. 

Playmats are great for tummy time, when baby needs to exercise his back and neck muscles. They can also be used as a makeshift changing table, without the risk of the baby falling off. I would even go so far as saying they are great to sleep in! 

When you are a sleep deprived mama, you can literally sleep anywhere! The extra padding helps. 

The mats we use and continue to use up to this day are from Bonjour Baby. There are a lot of designs to choose from to suit your nursery decor. I would recommend getting the XL Luxe Playmats as they are bigger, sturdier and do not peel. These mats are Certified Non-toxic , non-skid, anti-slip and shock and noise absorbing.

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmats Carrara Marble

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmats Carrara Marble

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmats Scandinavian Cross

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmats Scandinavian Cross

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmat Stone Wash

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmat Stone Wash

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmat Sand Wash

Bonjour Baby XL Luxe Playmat Sand Wash

Peek-a-Boo, I See You: Safe Baby Monitors

Peek-a-Boo, I See You_ Safe Baby Monitors

My husband will tell you how obsessed I am with Baby Monitors. They are super important. I can’t physically be with my babies 24/7, so when I am away, I rely on them completely. I’ve tried so many of them, just to find the perfect match for me. It may seem pretty straight forward, but there are actually too many options in the market— all with different features and price points.

Some monitors come with the ability to measure your baby’s heart rate and breathing, some can alert you if the baby cries, some will let you talk to your babies through a radio, while others are just basic security cameras.

A main concern for me was connectivity. Since we live in the mountains, power outages and signal fluctuations are rampant. I wanted a monitor that I could rely on, even when the wifi was out. I also needed a camera with its own monitor so that if I was out of the house, our nanny could check up on the baby without having to use my phone.

I got mine from Eufy, but I ordered it from the US. I wish I had found out about these other local options online so I didn’t have to worry about shipping it all the way here. I personally have not tried these monitors below, but I’m happy to share a few that you might like to consider.

360 deg Smart Baby Monitor

360 deg Smart Baby Monitor

Timeflys Hi Mars S350H

Timeflys Hi Mars S350H

Oricom Secure740

Oricom Secure740

These options below do not come with a baby monitor, but are security camera brands that we also use for other areas here at home. These are more affordable and you can connect them to your device, which will serve as your baby monitor.

TP Link Tapo C210

TP Link Tapo C210

Eufy by Anker Security Indoor Camera

Eufy by Anker Security Indoor Camera

Xiaomi Miija Smart Security Camera

Xiaomi Miija Smart Security Camera

Storage Solutions to Organize Baby’s Belongings

Last thing you need to consider in your baby’s nursery is storage. As your kids grow, their need for storage grows too. My kids’ things have taken over our house simply because we weren’t able to foresee just how many things they would amass over the years. 

My particular mistake for their nursery was having a custom built wardrobe before they were born. I thought I was being smart by investing in a storage solution that would last them years. However, looking back, it was impossible for me to plan the most efficient way to use their space without knowing their actual use case.

In the end, I wish the things I had built-in were less permanent, so I could have the freedom to change up their room depending on how they use it as they grow. It would have been better to use storage solutions that were convertible or at the very least collapsible in case we didn’t need to use them anymore.

Feeding Essentials

Apart from the nursery, another thing to think about is your baby’s nutrition. Are you going to breastfeed or not? When do we start feeding the baby solids- at 6 months or 4? Do we go for baby led weaning or purees? I know it can get a little bit overwhelming to read about all these options, but let’s take it one at a time, and I’ll try my best to hold your hand along the way.

When your baby first comes into this world, all he or she really needs is YOU. Sometimes, it helps just knowing that. You are ENOUGH to provide nutrition, comfort and love for your baby. Breastfeeding is ultimately the best for babies, so if you can, please do give it your best effort. Although if you can’t for whatever reason, please know that it’s okay. Fed is best. So as long as your baby is fed, nothing else matters.

My breastfeeding consultant once told me that our bodies have this supernatural way of knowing what the baby needs just by pure contact, and giving that need back to the baby in the form of breastmilk. It was so incredible to see my son grow and grow to be a healthy infant being sustained by my breastmilk alone. How amazing is the human body?

I’m not gonna lie, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, breastfeeding is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. At one point, I was on the verge of giving up. I’ve battled mastitis, bloody nipples, chapped skin and being in so much pain that the mere brushing of my nursing bra against my skin would make me wince in agony. It was excruciating. (not exactly selling it, am i?) Don’t worry, it gets better and ultimately becomes painless after about 2-3 weeks. Your body just needs time to adjust.

It’s important to know all this so you know what to expect and you come into it prepared and ready to give it your best shot. Here are some items that might help you in your journey.

Breastfeeding Essentials

Nursing Bras and Pads

Nursing Bras and Pads

Your breasts will grow (A LOT) if you decide to breastfeed, so they will need all the support they can get. Before I gave birth, I hoarded all the pretty nursing bras thinking about how seamless they would look under my clothes.

I thought the only thing I had to consider was finding a bra with a clasp or hook on the top that I could open up to feed the baby. However, I quickly realized that was not the case. There are so many other things to consider that you just can’t possibly think about without the experience. 

After 2 fully breastfed babies, I’ve learned that I personally prefer nursing bras that can offer me support, without the underwire. I ended up wearing my nursing bra 24/7 just because I really needed help with the added weight. Because I was wearing it all day, comfort and practicality became my main concern. That meant, I had to shy away from the options that had too much design or useless decor that could potentially snag on my clothes, or scratch the baby (or my nipples) while I was breastfeeding.

I went with  soft fabrics that were gentle on my skin, and ditched the padded options. Why? When I pull my bra to the side to breastfeed or pump, I didn’t want to have to worry about crumpling the pads and ending up with a lumpy bra. 

Here are some Nursing bra options you can consider:

Mamaway Ultra Silky Crossover Sleeping _ Nursing Bra

Mamaway Ultra Silky Crossover Sleeping & Nursing Bra

Wacoal Pretty Pairs – Comfort Fit Bra

Wacoal Pretty Pairs – Comfort Fit Bra

Mamaway Ultra Silky Seamless Maternity _ Nursing Bra

Mamaway Ultra Silky Seamless Maternity & Nursing Bra

ToughMomma Deep Curve Seamless Wireless Nursing Bra

ToughMomma Deep Curve Seamless Wireless Nursing Bra

Front Buckle Nursing Bra for Breastfeeding [no brand]

Front Buckle Nursing Bra for Breastfeeding [no brand]

Breathable Nursing Bra for Breastfeeding [no brand]

Breathable Nursing Bra for Breastfeeding [no brand]

Another thing I didn’t realize was how much milk I would have and how my letdown reflex would get triggered by just about anything baby related. I would see a random baby photo or hear a baby crying and my breasts would leak milk like crazy. It was pretty embarrassing to be in public with wet stains on my clothes.

Enter- breast pads.

These are disposable absorbent pads (similar to a sanitary napkin) that you place inside your bra in case of leaky situations. I didn’t need them all the time, but always had a few in my bag, just in case.

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Breast Pads

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Breast Pads

Baby Moby Disposable Breastpads

Baby Moby Disposable Breastpads

Sunmum Ultra Thin Breast Pads

Sunmum Ultra Thin Breast Pads

Buds _ Blooms Reusable Nursing Pads

Buds & Blooms Reusable Nursing Pads

When you breastfeed your baby, you can either do a direct latch, or express the milk via breast pump. I chose the former because I wanted to spend that time bonding with my baby rather than bonding with my pump. It was the easier option for me because I would simply have to take out my breast and latch the baby, and then when he was done, I was done too. There would be no need to wash bottles, sterilize pump parts or transfer collected milk into milk bags for storage. However, as with everything else, there are pros and cons to each option. If you choose to direct latch, you would have to be with your baby 24/7, which isn’t possible for most people. 

Breast pumps give you more freedom to manage your time, and offer your baby’s other caregivers a chance to feed and bond with your baby too. It usually takes less time as you can express milk from both breasts simultaneously, and it allows you to store extra milk for your milk stash in case you ever need to be apart from your baby for a long time. Listing down below the things you might need for both options.

Direct latch

Nipple Cream
Nipple Cream

A newborn baby needs to latch on at least every 2 hours. That means your nipples are gonna get more action than ever before. Expect sore and chapped skin that needs a little bit of lubrication in between. I don’t want to get into what I went through, but trust me, it was not pretty. 

To be completely honest, it’s possible that you might not even need a nipple cream. It really depends on how your body reacts to breastfeeding, and how much you can tolerate. In fact my breastfeeding consultant told me that I could simply use expressed breastmilk to heal the blisters on my nipples. While that might be the case, I still preferred to use nipple creams for the relief they provide. It was able to lessen the friction between my skin and my nursing bra, and offer a layer of protection over my sensitive nipples.

If you do end up getting some, make sure the nipple cream you choose is safe for mom and baby, and that you won’t need to wash it off before you breastfeed again. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what was in the market at that time, so I had ordered my nipple cream from abroad. Luckily, there are so many more options for you to choose from now.

Babymama – Motherlove Nipple Cream

Babymama – Motherlove Nipple Cream

Mama’s Choice Intensive Soothing Nipple Cream

Mama’s Choice Intensive Soothing Nipple Cream

Buds and Blooms Nipple Nurse

Buds and Blooms Nipple Nurse

Orange and Peach Natural Nipple Balm Cream

Orange and Peach Natural Nipple Balm Cream

Nipple Shields
Nipple Shields

In some cases, nipples can get so sore after breastfeeding that the brush of fabric from your shirt or nursing bra will be too painful to bear. I remember going topless all over the house during my first month of breastfeeding, simply because I could not stand having anything touch me (yes, not even clothes!). I know, I put on a show!

At that point in time, I could care less about exposing myself, just for a little bit of comfort. It was that bad! Nipple shields are plastic covers that go over your nipples to shield them from any contact. You can wear them inside your bra, and it won’t show at all.

They are definitely essential in my book, but again, it will depend on your tolerance and how your breastfeeding journey goes. If you do end up needing one like I did (sorry to hear that), these will really help and give you some relief. Make sure you get the right size for you.

Orange and Peach Nipple Shield

Orange and Peach Nipple Shield

Pigeon Nipple Shield

Pigeon Nipple Shield

Medela Contact Nipple Shields

Medela Contact Nipple Shields

Nursing Pillow
Nursing Pillow

I broke my back breastfeeding my boys because I was doing it for the majority of my day without considering my posture. Sometimes, breastfeeding a newborn takes 30-50 minutes, and you have to do it every 2 hours at the minimum. That’s a lot of time bending down!

You need to set yourself up for success by investing in a good nursing pillow that will allow you to be as comfortable as possible while the baby is on you.

Sometimes, I had 3-4 pillows all over me just to give me some added support. Breastfeeding really took a toll on my posture, but a good nursing pillow might just alleviate some of that pressure on your back.

Mamaway Maternity and Breastfeeding Support Pillow

Mamaway Maternity and Breastfeeding Support Pillow

Yoboo Breastfeeding Pillow

Yoboo Breastfeeding Pillow

Mom and B Maternity Pillow

Mom and B Maternity Pillow

Nursing Covers 
Nursing Covers

When your baby needs you, it doesn’t matter where you are, you have to adjust. I’ve breastfed in the restaurant, on a commute, in church- you name it. In case you need a bit of privacy, nursing covers will definitely help.

I prefer the ones with softer fabrics, but it’s all a matter of personal preference, really. Some options below:

QD Little Things Flexi Nursing Cover

QD Little Things Flexi Nursing Cover

Philips AVENT Breastfeeding _ Nursing Cover

Philips AVENT Breastfeeding / Nursing Cover

Breathable Outdoor Breastfeeding Cover

Breathable Outdoor Breastfeeding Cover

Breathable Outdoor Breastfeeding Cover

Little Totts NURSING COVER

Expressed Milk

Breast Pump
Breast Pump

Breast pumps come in all shapes, sizes and use cases. You can get a medical grade one, an electric or battery powered one, a manual one, or even a travel sized one. You can opt for hands free flanges, or one that will need a special pumping bra. Your choice will ultimately depend on your lifestyle and needs. 

I personally opted for an electric pump and used the Spectra Dual Compact Rechargeable breast pump. It was the best option for me considering I only used my pump when I would travel and be away from my baby. I needed my breast pump to be small enough so I could carry it in my bag, and pump on the go, like in planes and on a commute. (Yes, it was awkward sometimes, but you do what you gotta do, hey?). 

I also needed the pump to come with rechargeable batteries so I didn’t have to be connected to an electrical outlet while I was pumping. Other features of this breast pump that I appreciated were:

  1. Dual Motor- you could pump both sides at the same time
  2. LED display light- made it easy for me to see the display even in the middle of the night or under a dark nursing cover
  3. Suction Strength- 270mmHg max. It was perfect for me because I didn’t need a medical grade suction, but it was still strong enough to empty out my breasts.

I’ve tried several travel breast pumps including hands free ones like the Elvie pump, but they all had their fair share of pros and cons, with the cons outweighing the pros. The Spectra Dual Compact served me well and I have no qualms recommending it to you all.

Spectra Dual Compact Rechargable Breast Pump
Spectra Dual Compact Rechargable Breast Pump

Other options that my peers have reviewed and tested are:

Spectra Dual S Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump

Spectra Dual S Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump

Medela Freestyle Flex

Medela Freestyle Flex

If there is one single pump that I would recommend for all breastfeeding moms, it would definitely be the Haakaa Pump. Unlike the typical manual pump that requires a little arm strength and a lot of determination, this pump is simply a let down catcher and requires little to no work. It can even be used if you choose to direct latch your baby. I would latch my baby on the left breast and use the Haakaa on the right breast as a milk catcher. 

It would squeeze out all the let down milk while I was feeding my baby, allowing me to build a milk stash without any additional work. It really helped me grow my milk supply. 

Another reason why I love it is because I was fortunate enough to have an oversupply of milk for my babies. When I would wake up feeling engorged, but my baby was not ready to eat yet, I could easily relieve myself with a quick squeeze using the Haakaa. 

There are 3 different types or “generations” of the Haakaa pump, but my recommendation is Gen 2. Compared to Gen 1, it has an additional suction at the bottom which provides added grip when you place it on the table, preventing spills. 

Gen 3 was too big and bulky for my liking, but it was a convertible pump that could become a bottle and storage container too. Even though I had it, I didn’t really get to use the Gen 3 a lot because it was too heavy hanging on my breast, and couldn’t suction strong enough.You get the most value for money with Gen 2, and the most effective in suction power as well, based on my personal experience. 

Haakaa Gen 2 Silicone Breast Pump 150ml-1

Haakaa Gen 2 Silicone Breast Pump 150ml

Haakaa Gen 2 Silicone Breast Pump 100ml

Haakaa Gen 2 Silicone Breast Pump 100ml

 Milk Storage Bags
Milk Storage Bags

When you get to build a milk supply stash, you’ll need to consider buying Milk Storage Bags. These are the best way to store your milk without taking too much space in your freezer. You’ll want to fill it to the recommended maximum depending on the bag you choose, and then lay it flat in the freezer to freeze. 

When it’s frozen you can set it upright and stack it like books on a shelf. It’s important to find milk storage bags from a good brand. The plastic needs to be thick enough so that when you thaw it, it doesn’t rip and spill the milk. It needs to be freezer safe, BPA Free and pre-sterilized. I also make sure there is a double zipper to prevent leaking. Here are some of the milk bags I’ve tried and tested:

ALL NEW BABY MOBY BREASTMILK STORAGE

ALL NEW BABY MOBY BREASTMILK STORAGE

Yoboo Breast Milk Storage Bags

Yoboo Breast Milk Storage Bags

Bottle-feeding Essentials

Let’s talk about bottle feeding. Babies that do not drink straight from the breast are either cup fed, syringe fed or bottle fed. The latter being the most common. With my second baby, I had already gone back to work outside of the house. Even though I preferred to direct latch, I had no choice but to bottle feed as I could not be with my baby at all times. 

There is nothing wrong with bottle feeding. Just that… you will have to wash and sterilize more things, get yourself a drying rack, a bottle brush, a set cleaning supplies and a bottle organizer. Whereas with direct latching, you will only need your breast. I won’t talk about all of these things in detail, so as not to overwhelm you. Let’s just stick to the essentials.

Bottles

Bottles

What is the difference between all of these baby bottles in the market? Again, it all boils down to preference. Not just our preference as parents, but the baby’s preference as well. Some babies prefer one bottle nipple over the other. Experts usually recommend letting a baby test out a bottle for about a week before retiring it for a new one. 

In my case, my babies were luckily open to most of the ones we tried. I started off with the Comotomo Silicone Baby Bottles, which were designed to mimic breastfeeding, to prevent nipple confusion and bottle rejection. 

Because I was still adamant about direct latching, this was my priority. The bottles are made of 100% medical grade silicone making it safe from bacteria, durable and soft. I also liked that the opening of the bottle was really wide, making it easier to clean.

Comotomo Silicone Baby Bottles
Comotomo Silicone Baby Bottles

Eventually, I switched out to Hegen bottles because my babies were old enough and I didn’t have to worry about nipple confusion any more. I chose Hegen because of their convertible nature. By changing the top lid, the bottles could easily transition from newborn stage nipples, to sippy cups, straws and even become food storage containers. 

The same bottle can be used in so many different ways. It’s even stackable, saving so much space in my pantry. The best part about it is its revolutionary one hand closure. I’ve never seen any bottle open and close like this. 

It has a Press-to-Close and Twist-to-Open innovation that allows the bottle to be opened and closed in one quick step, all while maintaining a secure closure to prevent spillage. We still use these bottles up to this day and I highly recommend them. Definitely a design innovation. 

Hegen 5oz Feeding Bottle, 2 Pack

Hegen 5oz Feeding Bottle, 2 Pack

Hegen 8oz Feeding Bottle, 2 Pack

Hegen 8oz Feeding Bottle, 2 Pack

Bottle Sterilizer 

Bottle Sterilizer

For the first few months of a baby’s life, I would recommend getting a sterilizer to make sure all the bottles and accessories he or she uses are germ and bacteria free. Although you could do this with boiling water and a pair of tongs, a steam or UV sterilizer will do the job for you better, quicker and easier. 

I personally used a UV sterilizer from Ecomom called the Eco 100 Dual UV Sterilizer to clean most of my baby’s bottles, teethers and toys. I liked how it was able to dry the items I was putting inside, so I didn’t need to wipe them down before use. 

Unlike steam sterilizers, there was no need to add water- eliminating a lot of mess. There was no hot water or steam coming out from the machine- eliminating the risk of burns or warped cabinetry. I also liked how I could use the sterilizer to store my bottles and baby toys without needing to get a separate bottle organizer.

Ecomom Eco 100 Dual UV Sterilizer
Ecomom Eco 100 Dual UV Sterilizer

However, some bottle manufacturers do not recommend using a UV sterilizer and require a steam sterilizer instead. Too much exposure to UV could sometimes degrade the quality of certain materials. Because of this, I also got myself the Combi Steam Sterilizer. 

Although it takes a bit more work (you would need to add water to the bottom of the base before each run), I’ve never had a problem with my baby bottles turning yellowish or any material breaking apart. It has a double walled design to ensure heat resistance and prevent burns, and a removable basket rack on top to put smaller items like bottle nipples and teethers.

Combi Steam Sterilizer and Dryer
Combi Steam Sterilizer and Dryer

Other options you can check out:

Philips Avent Electric Steam Sterilizer

Philips Avent Electric Steam Sterilizer

Chicco 2 in 1 Sterilizer

Chicco 2 in 1 Sterilizer

Lastly, there is a type of sterilizer that is very practical to use for travel. These are called Sterilizing Tablets. I used the one from the brand Milton, which is clinically proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria, germs and viruses and uses the same active ingredient to make water drinkable. After washing your accessories and bottles in warm soapy water, you can place them in a container, add 5L of cold water and dissolve the sterilizing tablet. 

It only takes 15 minutes and you don’t even need to rinse them after. The solution works for 24 hours, so you can use it again and again throughout the day. This was especially useful for me when we were hit with Typhoon Odette and we didn’t have electricity for a month. With Sterilizing Tablets, you don’t need much counter space, or even electricity. 

Milton Sterilizing Tablets
Milton Sterilizing Tablets

If you need more information about bottle feeding, including recommended brushes, cleaners etc., you may check out these articles here.

Feeding Tools

At about 4-6 months of your baby’s life, depending on your pediatrician’s recommendation, it will be time to begin baby’s journey with food. It’s another adventure to experience and enjoy with your LO. The key word is to make sure that each meal is happy, easy going and a fun learning experience for both parents and baby. I know this is easier said than done. 

Sometimes mealtime can be messy, stressful and unsuccessful. It’s not easy to watch baby throw all the food you spent time making on the floor. Sometimes, it really happens, and there’s not much we can do about it. However, keeping meal times positive will help your child develop a healthier relationship with food. Allow them to explore at their own time and make a mess out of it. It’s just part of it!

Whether you are baby-led-weaning or doing purees, introducing baby to Solids is always a fun experience, and seeing their reactions to new flavors are always exciting. Here are some things you might need for this part of your journey.

High Chairs 

High Chairs

The first high chair I used was from Oribel called the Cocoon Z High Chair. I liked it a lot because it was stylish and matched our house aesthetic pretty well. I was able to use it as a mini bassinet when my baby was a newborn. 

I would be cooking in the kitchen while my baby was snoozing away right on his reclineable high chair. It has 3 recline positions that can transition with the baby as he grows into different stages. It also came with 360-degree swivel gliders/wheels so I could easily put it aside or drag it into the dining room as needed.

Oribel Cocoon Z High Chair
Oribel Cocoon Z High Chair

However, my baby, like most babies, was a messy eater. We did baby-led weaning when he reached 5 months, and throwing food became his past-time. He would dive into whatever I served him with both hands and then wipe those hands all over his face, his mouth, his chair and eventually, the seat and the straps. 

The Oribel is designed with less crevices to make clean ups and wipe downs easy, however, I noticed that some food particles would still get stuck in the small holes. The straps were getting stained and smelly no matter how hard I tried to clean them. I tried everything but eventually decided it would be easier to switch out to a minimalist wooden high chair instead. 

Luckily, my family had a spare Stokke Trip Trapp Seat I could use. Unluckily, it is no longer available for sale in the Philippines. I’ve done a bit of research and found you guys these contenders, should you wish to explore a wooden high chair instead.

Bambina Ever High Chair

Bambina Ever High Chair

Bonjour Baby Adjustable Heirloom High Chair

Bonjour Baby Adjustable Heirloom High Chair

Kiddie Xavi Classic High Chair

Kiddie Xavi Classic High Chair

Baby Bibs

Baby Bibs

Starting solids should come with a warning label: expect things to get messy!

Babies are just learning how to control their bodies and sometimes they make jerking movements or try to grab things they aren’t supposed to. It’s so easy to take control of meal times and literally spoon feed them, but I believe giving them a little independence (even if its messier) is better. 

Eating is a learning experience for them. Getting to touch and feel the textures of their food is sensory play and part of them experiencing the world. When they attempt to put a spoon or a fistfull or food in their mouth, they don’t always aim straight and there could be a lot of spillage. I’ve learned to accept this and find ways to control what I can control- like keeping the mess away from the dress!

Enter- the bib!

There are so many types of bibs. There are bibs that you use when your baby is teething and dripping saliva everywhere, there are bibs for doing arts and crafts, and there are those for eating. Today, we will talk about the bibs used on the dining table. 

I personally like the silicone bibs that have a pocket /catcher at the bottom. This way, when the baby aims and misses, the bib is able to catch some of the food and it doesn’t all go to waste. Silicone bibs are also easier to clean. I used the one from Mushie, which uses 100% food grade silicone and is BPA and phthalate free. There are so many cute and aesthetic designs to choose from.

Mushie Silicone Baby Bib
Mushie Silicone Baby Bib

Other options you can consider are:

Nuby on the go silicone bib

Nuby on the go silicone bib

Baby Bjorn Baby Bib

Baby Bjorn Baby Bib

OXO Tot Waterproof silicone roll up bib

OXO Tot Waterproof silicone roll up bib

Another bib I like to have on hand are disposable bibs. Disposable bibs are great if you are frequently eating out with your LO. When we go out to eat, or we are on the plane, it saves me a lot of hassle from having to clean the bib at the nearest washroom. Plus they are small and compact enough to fit in my bag. I use the ones from Chicco, but I think they are sold out. 

Some alternatives here:

Tidys Disposable Bib

Tidys Disposable Bib

I Love Daddy _ Mummy Disposable Bibs

I Love Daddy & Mummy Disposable Bibs

Clevermama Clevabibs

Clevermama Clevabibs

Baby-Safe Dinnerware and Utensils 

Baby-Safe Dinnerware and Utensils

There are so many options when it comes to baby-safe dinnerware and utensils. There are stainless ones, plastic ones, wooden ones, and silicone ones. There are training spoons and stage 2 utensils, mats that act like plates and plates that stick to the table- really, the list goes on. I have a mixture of all of these that I use for different occasions.

It’s important to choose brands that are reputable and food safe, especially since these items will be touching the baby’s food and mouth. Listing down below the ones I have personally tried and tested.

Silicone Spoons

Soft and flexible enough for baby’s first solids, BPA, PVC and phthalate free

BabyMoov 1st Age Silicone Spoon

BabyMoov 1st Age Silicone Spoon

Beaba Baby 1st Age Silicone Spoon

Beaba Baby 1st Age Silicone Spoon

Stainless Steel Stage 2 Utensils
Beaba Stainless Steel Training Cutlery

Beaba Stainless Steel Training Cutlery

Viida Souffle Fork _ Spoon Set

Viida Souffle Fork & Spoon Set

Travel Utensils
Citron Cutlery Set with Silicone Case

Citron Cutlery Set with Silicone Case

Doddle Cutlery Set

Doddle Cutlery Set

Plates 
Mushie Silicone Suction Plate

Mushie Silicone Suction Plate

Nooboo Little Foodies Bamboo Suction Plate and Spoon

Nooboo Little Foodies Bamboo Suction Plate and Spoon

Avanchy Bamboo Suction Toddler Plate

Avanchy Bamboo Suction Toddler Plate

Eco Rascals Bamboo Suction Plate

Eco Rascals Bamboo Suction Plate

Bowls
Eco Rascals Bamboo Bowl and Spoon Set

Eco Rascals Bamboo Bowl and Spoon Set

Mushie Round Dinnerware Bowl

Mushie Round Dinnerware Bowl

Placemats
Mushie Silicone Place Mat

Mushie Silicone Place Mat

EasyTots EasyMats Mini Plate

EasyTots EasyMats Mini Plate

Sets:
Viida Souffle Antibacterial Tableware Set

Viida Souffle Antibacterial Tableware Set

Beaba Baby Silicone Meal Set

Beaba Baby Silicone Meal Set

Travel Containers
Viida Baby Souffle Bowl

Viida Baby Souffle Bowl

Beaba Insulated Lunch Box

Beaba Insulated Lunch Box

Beaba Isothermal Meal Pouch

Beaba Isothermal Meal Pouch

Beaba Isothermal Portion

Beaba Isothermal Portion

Storage Containers:
Babymoov Babybowls Hermetic Glass Storage

Babymoov Babybowls Hermetic Glass Storage

Beaba Baby Individual Silicone Containers

Beaba Baby Individual Silicone Containers

Hegen 8oz Breast Milk Storage

Hegen 8oz Breast Milk Storage

Baby Food Steamer/Blender Tools
Beaba Babycook Neo

Beaba Babycook Neo

Beaba Babycook Solo

Beaba Babycook Solo

Babymoov Nutribaby +

Babymoov Nutribaby +

Clothing and Bedding for Your Little Fashionista

Clothing and Bedding for Your Little Fashionista

As tempting as it may be to splurge on those cute frocks and fun outfits for your baby, chances are you won’t get a lot of use from them. Newborns have extremely sensitive skin and rest best when they are comfortable. 

I remember a time when my newborn was really cranky, and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He was just cleaned from a potty, well rested, fed and burped. Why was he crying? Turns out, he was uncomfortable in what he was wearing. We switched him out to a bamboo onesie and his bad mood was gone. 

Since we live in a tropical climate, I always make sure the fabric of the clothes my babies wear are breathable and soft. Their moods are always better this way. Listed down below are my personal favorite brands and designs for practical newborn to infant clothes. I believe in quality over quantity and don’t think babies really need a lot of options. These items below have been worn and re-worn many times over, and have lasted up to this day.

Onesies

Bamberry Baby Short Sleeved Onesie

Bamberry Baby Short Sleeved Onesie

Bamberry Baby Short Sleeved Onesie (2)

Bamberry Baby Short Sleeved Onesie (Girl Print Pack)

St Patrick Organic Sleeveless Romper

St Patrick Organic Sleeveless Romper

Yoji Playsuit Green Wide Stripes

Yoji Playsuit Green Wide Stripes

Pajamas

I personally prefer footed pajamas for newborns with built in covers for the hands too. This way, there is no need to buy extra mittens and booties, that always fall off the baby anyway.

Bamberry Baby Footed Romper

Bamberry Baby Footed Romper

Bamberry Baby Footed Romper Print

Bamberry Baby Footed Romper Print

St Patrick Baby Organic Sleepsuit

St Patrick Baby Organic Sleepsuit

Yoji Pajama Set

Yoji Pajama Set

YOJI Pajamas set beige stripes

Yoji Pajama Set Beige Stripes

Hats

Don’t buy too much of these because newborns outgrow them fast!

Bamberry Baby Knotted Hat

Bamberry Baby Knotted Hat

Lounge 

Yoji Sando Set Beige

Yoji Sando Set Beige

Yoji Toddler Ruffle Dress

Yoji Toddler Ruffle Dress

Yoji Sando Set Green Stripes

Yoji Sando Set Green Stripes

Blankets

Bamberry Baby Bamboo Stretch Plain Swaddle

Bamberry Baby Bamboo Stretch Plain Swaddle

Must-Haves for Cozy Sleep

Cozy Sleepsacks and Swaddles for Sweet Dreams

Cozy Sleepsacks and Swaddles for Sweet Dreams

I truly believe in swaddles! They are a life hack all moms need to know about. I’ve heard a lot of my friends tell me their babies didn’t like the swaddle, but I really don’t think that is true. After much research and consultations with experts, all babies love swaddles and they are very very important for a good night’s sleep! They just need to get used to it first. Please do give them the opportunity to get used to it.

Swaddles help a baby sleep better because they restrict movement and help them sleep through their Moro or Startle Reflex. They need to be snug around the baby’s arms and chest to mimic the womb environment that he or she is used to, which is very soothing to them.

Traditional swaddles that they give you in the hospital are made of a big cloth that you tightly wrap around the baby in a specific way. However, I’ve found it really difficult to get it done like the experts at the hospital. When I use the traditional swaddle, I can’t seem to get it right, and it always comes loose. Luckily, there are so many other options in the market that are much easier to use. 

My number one preference is the Halo Sleep Sack. Babies will need a swaddle until about 3-4 months of age. After that, when they can fully roll over on their own,  they will need to transition into a one arm swaddle or both arms out swaddle so they can flip themselves back up again. Eventually, when the baby gets older, he or she will again transition into a sleep sack. 

The Halo Sleep Sack is a 3- way adjustable swaddle that can adjust to these stages of sleep. It’s made of 100% cotton and comes with an inverted zipper which zips up from the bottom, making diaper changes at night extra convenient. You can tightly wrap the baby’s arms with the velcro that’s really sturdy and secure, but still keep the rest of his or her body free to move. This makes it healthier for their hips. Out of all the swaddles I’ve tried, this is the one I recommend the most. 

Halo Sleep Sack Multi-way Swaddle

Halo Sleep Sack Multi-way Swaddle

I also tried using the Dreamland Baby Weighted Swaddle and Sleep Sack which has its own cult following, but also has its fair share or nay sayers. On the one hand, the weight of the swaddle really does help the baby sleep for longer. On the other, experts do not recommend the added weight for safety reasons. You can do your own research and decide for yourself if you want to consider this option.

Dreamland Baby Weighted Swaddle and Sleep Sack

Dreamland Baby Weighted Swaddle and Sleep Sack

I’d like to give a shout out to the Love to Dream Swaddle UP Sleepsack, which is completely different in design. This swaddle keeps baby’s arms up in a chicken wings position while he sleeps. The fabric is really soft and it’s also really easy to wear on baby. Some moms find this arms up style more effective. Although I prefer the more traditional style, I still want to put this option here, since I know all babies have different preferences. This might be something to consider as well.

Love to Dream Swaddle UP Sleepsack

Love to Dream Swaddle UP Sleepsack

Apart from comforting the baby and getting longer sleep, the best thing about a swaddle is the sleep association. Every bedtime or nap time, my baby wears a swaddle just before being put into his baby cot. He got used to it and now knows that when I take the swaddle (or more currently, the sleepsack) out, it’s time for bed. It’s really amazing to see how they make this association on their own.

Sound Machines

Sound Machines

Sound Machines are like radios that only have channels for white or dark static noise. These are great to use when the baby is sleeping but the rest of the house is not. Because the machine drowns out the sounds, the baby is able to sleep more peacefully and not wake up to any sudden noise. (I honestly used this myself too when I found my husband was snoring too much lol).

On top of that, if you keep using the sound machine for every nap or bedtime, the baby also develops the same sleep association with the sound. It has truly been a game changer for me. Even when we are on the go, once I put my baby in a sleep sack and turn on the white noise, he knows it’s time to take his nap. No fussing at all!

We got our sound machine from abroad, but here is an options you can find locally online:

ORIA White Noise Machine

ORIA White Noise Machine

Make sure the sound is loud enough for you to hear through a closed door.

If you want more information on baby’s sleep, I highly recommend reading the book “Moms on Call” which helped me immensely.

Travel Buddies for Your Baby

The last thing I want to talk about is traveling with your baby. Whether it be around the neighborhood, coming home from the hospital or going on an actual trip away, traveling with a baby has its fair share of challenges. Here are some tools to help you make it easier.

Carseat

Carseat

The moment you leave the hospital or birthing center, and get in a car to transport your baby home, it’s important to put him in a car seat safe for his age. I didn’t know this when I first gave birth, but it’s a requirement in a lot of countries for the safety of your baby. 

There are a few car seats I have tried. The first one is from Doona called the Doona Car Seat and Stroller. It’s great because it is a 2-in-1 product, and easy to convert from Car Seat to Stroller and back in seconds. Based on my observation, their infant seat is the most ergonomic and comfortable for a newborn baby. It feels really sturdy and substantial without being too bulky. Plus, it has passed numerous testing for the strictest US Standards for Car Seats, Strollers and Hand Held Carriers.

 Doona Car Seat and Stroller

Doona Car Seat and Stroller

The problem with the Doona Car Seat and Stroller is that it’s only built for infants. That means, it’s pretty easy to outgrow. There are so many car seats on the market today that are built for newborns up to 12 years of age. These can be converted to be front or back facing, and can be adjusted based on your baby’s height and stage. Listing of the ones I’ve tried and liked below. These are the car seats we use up to this day:

Joie Stages Car Seat

Joie Stages Car Seat

Poled All Age 360 Car Seat

Poled All Age 360 Car Seat

Stroller 

Stroller

When it comes to strollers, the options are endless. There are too many brands, all with too many variants. Which one is the best and which functions are really important? It depends on your lifestyle and use case. Will you be using it for travel or for walks near your home? Does it need to be really light or do the wheels need to be stronger?

Personally, I look for a stroller that:

  1. Is compact and able to fit into the overhead compartment of an airplane
  2. Easy to fold in and out (one handed is better in case I am holding baby on my other arm)
  3. Has a fully reclinable seat, so baby can nap longer inside
  4. Optional: has a cupholder since it’s hard to push and sip at the same time

Check out these options below:

Chicco Goody Baby Stroller

Chicco Goody Baby Stroller

Chicco One4Ever Duo Stroller

Chicco One4Ever Duo Stroller

Nuna Triv Next Compact Stroller

Nuna Triv Next Compact Stroller

Baby Zen Yoyo 2

Baby Zen Yoyo 2

There is so much hype over the Baby Zen Yoyo 2 stroller, and I personally have one too. It does the job well, although I still prefer the other ones I recommended above

Hip Seat Carrier 

Hip Seat Carrier

Last but not the least, we have the hip seat carrier. I didn’t use mine until my baby gained a few pounds and was able to sit upright on his own. By that time, I had no choice but to use it and my back definitely thanked me. I prefer Hip Seat Carriers that have an actual seat compared to the ones that are purely made of fabric. They don’t look as nice, but they function a whole lot better and offer more support to use until your baby is a bit older.

My favorite one that we use up to this day is from I-Angel, a Korean brand. It’s ergonomically designed to evenly distribute the baby’s weight on your body, reducing strain on your shoulders, waist and spine. My baby is now 15kg and it still supports him well enough! We usually just use the hip seat and leave the body straps because it can get too hot. 

I-Angel Light Hipseat Carrier

I-Angel Light Hipseat Carrier

Another option is the New Dr Dial Hip Seat Carrier from I-Angel, which offers back support for more waist protection. It also has a dial system that reduces the pressure from the weight of the baby.

I-Angel Hip Seat Carrier

I-Angel Hip Seat Carrier

Other options I’ve tried and liked below:

MiaMily Hipster Plus Baby Carrier

MiaMily Hipster Plus Baby Carrier

Bebear Mesh Plus Hip Seat

Bebear Mesh Plus Hip Seat

Final Thoughts

I hope this list has helped you narrow down on the basics of what you really need for your baby’s first few months of life. I know it can be tough and overwhelming, but trust me, it does get better. 

Us moms, we have to stick together. We are the only ones who know exactly what each other is going through. 

From pregnancy and our changing bodies, to becoming an index for all baby related needs, to labor and recovery, breastfeeding, postpartum and everything else in between. It’s not easy, but I promise you, it’s worth it.