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today, ian and i browse the aisles of buy buy baby so that i can pick up a few more item for jessica east's baby shower (she's the saint who hosted mine).  i realize in this instance that i have finally done it, despite swearing up and down that i will remain detached and oblivious til death-  all of a sudden, i am a mother with a lot of opinions and advice.  i feel some type of way about baby bathtubs.  i recognize many brands of diaper rash cream.  i would like to engage in a long discussion about how to assemble an ideal registry.  i am not proud of my foray into this particular wilderness of knowledge.  like, i still can't read an analog clock and i can't remember how world war 1 started but i'm out here praising the merits of a rubber ass spatula.  the worst.

if i had a nickel for every time i googled what is a baby registry, i probably would've been able to finance the entirety of mine.  the world of baby supplies and gadgets and timesavers is an endless, horrible void of amazon affiliate links and paid reviews and suddenly it's 4 am and you've have 8,000 chrome tabs open but you still don't know which bottle nipple will lull your baby into a cool, easy feed and which one will balloon up his little belly with gas and misery and bullshit and also what exactly is a bottle nipple.

i'm deeply pleased that between my miserable google grind and the insanely kind generosity of my friends and family, we've stocked our nursery closet with very cool, useful items that will support us during the first two years of trying to keep this little dude alive.  and as we're nearing the end of the fourth trimester, i want to pose a special shoutout to a few handy items i'd unequivocally recommend for any new moms and also myself again in a couple of years when ian inevitably tricks me into having another one.

(no affiliate links or rewards or paid incentives here because nobody reads this blog or gives me money or cares about my thoughts)

  1. babybum diaper cream brush.  this feels like a weird thing to endorse- because who on earth needs yet another dumb gadget to muck up the diaper changing process?  who in this cruel world is so grossed out by the prospect of touching their own baby's butt that they would enlist the help of a silicone utensil?  not me.  i love james' weird little pointy ass.  but diaper cream is the fucking worst and applying with your fingers is an uneven effort at best that leaves a thick greasy coating all over your fingers and under your nails like you've just eaten a mess of fried chicken but without the joy.  using this thing feels like i'm frosting his butt like a beautiful little bundt cake, allowing nice, even access to all the parts of him he'll feel weird about later in life.  (also, lol @ all the cool organic ~healing balms~ that did nothing but made me feel momentarily smug, triple cream is the only thing that clears up diaper rash immediately.)
  2.  boon orb bottle warmer.  you guys there are so many goddamn bottle warmers out on the market and i thought i'd be real cool and conservative by skipping this purchase and heating bottles under the faucet like an old school moms but that turned out to be a study in hunching over the sink for 40 hours at a time just hating myself for spending $300 on dinner but skimping on a bottle warmer.  amazon reviews for all warmers are deeply polarized and the instructions for this one seem like they were written by an employee who went on a bender and decided to quit their job halfway through but it's small, fast, efficient, and hasn't burned down my house yet.
  3. swaddleme original swaddles.  check it out it's ya girl mimo who's almost 3 months deep into being a moms and 29 years deep into being a person but still doesn't know how to follow blanket or towel folding instructions so it was highly unlikely that i'd ever figure out how to swaddle a dang baby (when u wrap lil' dude up real tight and cozy like a delicious burrito so he feels like he's back in his original digs).  the hospital gave us a couple of ez velcro swaddles and i should've pilfered more, because they really are the best.
  4. boon lawn countertop drying rack.  the lawn version is bigger than grass, and that's the one you'll want when you immediately devote your life to washing bottles, nipples, and breast pump parts like it's your one true calling.  you will not be running the dishwasher 7 times a day, you will be scalding your palms in soapy hot water and fantasizing about a day in the distant future that doesn't begin and end with rearranging items in this drying rack.  it's cute tho.  also, use dishwashing gloves every time or your hands will immediately transform into a macro shot of the cracked earth in death valley.
  5. oxo tot perfectpull wipes dispenser.  i didn't fuck with a wipes warmer because i didn't want a fire hazard hanging out immediately adjacent to my baby, and james became acclimated to the momentary discomfort of a room temperature wipe pretty quickly.  no complaints here- this keeps wipes moist and the lid has a very satisfying clicking thing happening.  if i knew how to design a thing and that thing was a box that held wet wipes, this would be it.
  6. parasol diaper subscription.  after james steadily destroyed the several boxes and tiers of diapers we received prior to his arrival, i decided that what i am really into is never setting foot in a store ever again- so i needed to get diapers delivered, like just about everything else in my life.  and because i handle money like i'm a six year old playing monopoly for the first time, i balled out on parasol diapers.  they are aesthetically and functionally on point and their wipes smell like cucumbers.  james has also never experienced a blowout while wearing these, which i think is a term used to describe the cool disaster of a baby shitting liquid puddles up his own back- truly terrifying.  and by the very scientific test of me rubbing my face on a variety of (clean!) diapers, these are also the softest.  it's $85/mo for diapers + wipes, or $70/mo for diapers only- so that works out to be like, 27 cents per diaper vs 23 cents for pampers swaddlers or 0 cents for putting yer baby in split pants and letting him throw down some loose poops like he's in them mean streets of beijing.
  7. comotomo baby bottles.  there are a lot of things i purchase in life only because the alternative options are truly ugly, and baby bottles fell into that category.  like, these are so whack-looking.  in addition to being pretty, the comotomo bottles are recommended for breastfed babies because they're supposed to mimic the feel of a boob, thereby reducing the possibility of nipple confusion.  "nipple confusion" is a scaremongering theory that dissuades new mothers from introducing bottles or pacifiers for fear that their babies will get stressed by the differences between artificial nipples and real nipples and never breastfeed again and do poorly in school and grow up to operate a vape shop.  james only suffered nipple confusion in the sense that he thinks everything is a nipple- ian's nose, my mouth, his own arm rolls- he will literally suck on anything with the slightest suggestion of a curve.  he wild.  so on the basis of my own anecdotal experience, these bottles are great- james switches between bottle-feeding and nursing with no hesitation.  the only downside is that function has sort of been sacrificed for design here- trying to read the ounce markers feels like doing a magic eye puzzle in the dark with glaucoma.
  8. cybex priam + cybex aton q.  please don't judge me for this website that claims URBAN STREET POETRY- i also feel disgusting peddling a stroller that comes with a backstory and boasts an ostentatious collaboration with jeremy scott.  the cybex instagram feed is full of celebrity babies enjoying the ~urban street poetry~ of a travel system that costs like, 3 car notes- but y'all it is a truly smooth ass stroller.  paired with the aton q car seat, it is a joy to push.  i can maneuver curbs and negotiate sharp turns with one hand.  strangers stop us to ask where to buy it, and by strangers i mean that one cashier at raising cane's.  the frame itself has very little bulk, though the car seat is on the heavier side- but it's cool because ian has big arms and i'm still using my c-section as an excuse to not lift anything heavier than a wine glass to my face.
  9. munchkin step diaper pail.  it's lame to get so excited about a glorified trash can, but i am loving this diaper pail.  it's still early on in this love affair, but it continues to be completely and perfectly odorless.  use the refill rings with it- basically one neverending trash bag that you cut and tie off at intervals when you're ready to dispose of a 20 foot bag of diapers that uncoil from the can like bright yellow intestines.  i was bracing myself for a life of constantly smelling poop, but so far new parenthood has been remarkably scent-free.  unless you count momo after she has traipsed through sprinklers.  i have also considered putting her in this trash can.
  10. tiny love take-along mobile.  mom, stop buying stuff for james i pleaded over and over again.  he doesn't need a mountain of baby things.  but my mom continues to show up with new shopping bags with a practiced tenacity bordering on deafness.  i buy, she shows me this mobile one day.  it is everything i hate in baby toys- plastic, bulky, brightly colored.  but once she clips it to his bassinet and switches it on, i am immediately converted and apologetic.  i thank her for this mobile daily.  it has wrested more smiles and coos from james than anything else in this world.  it placates him through fussy bouts, engages his excitement when he's alert, and soothes him to sleep.  it's just a slow-moving mobile with a loud tinkling melody that automatically turns off after 30 minutes, but it is indispensable to our daily life.  i would save this in a fire.
  11. wubbanub fox.  i resisted this thing too, which is a soothie pacifier attached to an ugly stuffed animal.  there are like, fifty different animal models and they all look like i personally sewed them in a bomb shelter.  but after the eight billionth time of replacing a pacifier in james' mouth while he flopped and flailed in confusion, i gave up and finally ordered one.  the weight of the attached fox helps keep the soothie in place, and i have finally rescinded my weird feelings about needing all baby toys to be up to par with my aesthetic expectations- which is especially whack in light of the fact that i have terrible taste.
  12. burt's bees burp cloths.  doesn't matter what brand, what size, or what design- burp cloths have been so, so useful.  we keep these, towels, bibs, and receiving blankets in box right next to the nursery glider for easy access.  a burp cloth is just any piece of fabric that you can use to shield yourself from the neverending fountain of liquid that's constantly pouring out of your baby's mouth- a washcloth, a towel, ian's v-necks, doesn't really matter.  but soft ones are especially nice because then your little man won't stare at you like you've just wiped his face with steel wool and broken bottles.  i think people forget to register for innocuous little essentials like these because they're not fun and sexy like toys or a shirt that says I'M THE BOSS but when it's 3 am and you've misplaced your glasses and your little dude is expelling spit-up like mount vesuvius you will realize that all you want in life is an ocean of burp cloths.
  13. hatch baby changing pad + app.  veteran parents will probably chalk this one up to an unnecessary, hypervigilant gadget but fuck y'all this thing is the best.  i mean, it's not great that we have to mar the beauty of the changing pad with a constant layer of towels because james has an untrustworthy bladder and an uncanny precision to accidentally pee in his own face, and yes i have recently realized that the scale is off by 4 ounces so i have to figure out how to calibrate it BUT it has been a super useful gadget from the very beginning.  the primary draw is that the pad is a scale, and allows you to weigh your baby before and after breastfeeding sessions so that you know how many ounces he ate- an especially important quantity for premature babies or babies who have difficulty nursing.  the accompanying app, which is fully functional as a standalone product, is polished and perfect.  we track every ounce he eats because we're doing parent-directed feeding and need to ensure that he gets all his calories in during the daytime.  we track all his diaper changes because my husband has adhd and can't ever remember how long it has been since the last change.  we track his weight because i like the novelty of hoping for a weigh-in line graph to increase over time.  if you're a data fiend, this is your setup.  

oh my god it is literally 1 am what am i doing with my life.