I actually hemmed and hawed about whether to write this post – let alone feature it on this blog. But because I’ve deemed May the unofficial start of Baby Shower Season, and I find these items so very helpful and unique, I couldn’t resist…
Having had my toe in the pregnancy/infant/toddler waters for more than thirty consecutive months now – I’ve been either pregnant, nursing, or changing diapers (and at some point doing two out of the three) since the tail end of 2010 – trust me, I know what it takes at all three stages to get the job done.
I usually subscribe to the notion that baby shower invitees should stick to the plan and purchase only the items the mother-to-be has on her registry. But then, little does the mother-to-be know that she won’t use 43 receiving blankets and equally as many packs of pacifiers – even at the newborn stage. I wished someone had purchased the following two items for me when I was expecting, but I ended up buying them myself:
Mexican Bola Ball Pendant
First up, we have the Mexican bola ball pendant. I wore one of these for my entire pregnancy with Kennedy – even before she grew ears in utero. (I was five months pregnant with her in the above photo of my mom, Scotty, and me taken at the Detroit Zoo during a field trip with Scotty's playgroup.) The bola ball necklace is an old Mexican tradition in which pregnant women wear a ball with a chime inside a pendant on a very long chain. The pendant reaches just below the mother’s belly button, and at around the 18th week of pregnancy, the baby begins to hear the sound of the chime. The mother can continue to wear the pendant on a shorter chain once the baby is born, so the sound of the chime can continue to soothe and comfort the baby – I actually wore mine when I nursed Kennedy for the first time when she was just minutes old. Before Scott and I even conceived Kennedy, I purchased my bola ball and pendant from eBay for $8 here, and when I learned that we were indeed having a girl, I ordered an additional ball (for $6) – in the color pink – from a different eBay listing by the same vendor, here.
I initially bought one of these back in the summer of 1995, when I was about to embark on my new life as a college freshman at the University of Michigan: Living in a dorm with a community bathroom meant that I needed something to contain my toothbrush, soap, and other toiletries when I schlepped to the showers every morning. I wished I had kept this five-dollar piece of molded plastic, because if I knew then what I know now, I could have told myself that the last thing I will want to do at two weeks postpartum is haul the baby back and forth to the nursery for every God-forsaken diaper change. Rather, it would be much more convenient to use this caddy as a portable diaper changing station: Simply load this sucker up with diapers, wipes, diaper balm, fold-up changing pad, and voila! But, no. I had to learn this the hard way and run out to buy one when Scotty was just days old. I ended up buying a second one when Kennedy was born so that I could have an additional diaper changing station in our bedroom. You can find these caddies everywhere, including Walmart, Meijer, and Kmart. (I bought both of mine from Home Goods.)
What items were invaluable to you when you were an expectant or new mom?
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