Category Archives: Stuff for Moms

Pump Perplexed No More: Spectra Dew 300

I posted a while back that I was undecided on which breastpump to get. Initially, I had wanted to order a Medela Freestyle, but then thought that a double-electric hands-free pump that’s quite expensive is simply, OA (for a stay-at-home mom, at least. I would definitely recommend the Freestyle for working moms).

I was contemplating the Medela Swing:

But then, a contest on the Babymama Facebook page turned my attention to the Spectra line of breastpumps. I entered a contest to win a free one, but didn’t rally enough votes so I conceded early, and booked a trial with Babymama’s Mi’ann Reyes-Oblea.

Before anything else, I have to say that the main come-on of the Spectra line to me was the price. If any of you have been reading between the lines of my shopping posts, you would notice that I am hopelessly thrifty. Any great product with an affordable price is good news to me. Medela is a GREAT brand, but the P6,000 price tag, double-electric Spectra Dew 300 seemed like a good deal.

Photo courtesy of Babymama

So off I went to Mi’ann’s place to try out the pumps right after attending the La Leche League breastfeeding support group at the Podium. (There’s one more on Sept. 18, 11am at Baby & Co. Podium. Please go if you are planning to breastfeed, or already breastfeeding) Out of the three pumps that Babymama offers, the Spectra Dew 3oo was a fit for me because:

1. As a stay-at-home mom, a desktop pump was fine for me.

2. Because I only planned to pump occasionally, there was no need for anything like a hospital-grade pump.

3. My milk started to flow immediately after I tried it, and I was able to pump out 3oz, just at the trial!

Right then and there, I went ahead and bought the pump. I got Spectra breastmilk storage bags and icepacks for free as well!

That was almost two weeks ago and here is my assessment so far:

1. The pump is quiet as advertised. My baby is a really light sleeper and he doesn’t even stir when I pump while he sleeps.

2. The parts are really easy to clean.

3. The output is great and I only felt a little discomfort when I started pumping. After that, it was a breeze.

I sometimes have a problem with the suction level. I notice it varies with every use. I don’t know if it’s the pump, the membrane, the hose… HEY, do I look like a breastpump technician to you? Must text Mi’ann.

Other than that I’m quite happy that I bought a pump for less than half the price of the Freestyle, a double electric at that!

Now if only Basti would finally take the bottle. That’s a whole different blog entry!!!

P.S. Because Basti still hasn’t taken the bottle, all my pumped milk has been going to a beautiful little girl named Gia. Her mom sent this to Basti as thanks!

Though Basti is more than happy to share his milk with his future BGF – Best Girl Friend. (Baka patayin ako ni Daddy AJ if I say Girlfriend, hee hee!) Thank you Tita Audrey! Love, Basti.

It’s A Ring Sling Thing

So yes, I’m a SaYa fan. I’ve been using it since Basti was 2 months old and we both love it. But. Babies grow up. And in my case, growing up REALLY FAST. (We’re at 7.4 kilos as of last checkup 2 weeks ago) I’ve been noticing that Basti has been squirming uncomfortably in the confines of a kangaroo carry in a SaYa, especially now that he’s taken to wearing shoes. I tried doing a front carry, both facing out and facing in and he didn’t like it either.

So, unwillingly, I’m taking a rest from the SaYa until he gets a little bigger to be side-carried. I dug out my RJellybean ring sling from storage and decided to give it another shot.

It works. The adjustable feature of the ring sling allows me to give Basti a little more room. And also, the ring sling allows me to accommodate Basti’s preference to nap while being carried.

I decided to try out a Next9 sling, a brand also marketed by the same people behind RJellybean. I got this design from their Multiply store. (P.S. Thanks to Jen of Next9 for being so wonderfully accommodating)

Photo courtesy of Next9

So I took the Next9 sling for a road test when I went grocery shopping at SM Hypermart on C5 yesterday. Basti loved it! (Note to self: Try out and review SM Supercenter’s Breastfeeding Room) I guess my learning curve finally caught up with me and I was able to handle the ring sling this time. Successfully breastfed while doing checkout without the use of a nursing cover or bib as well!

So I couldn’t help but compare the two brands. Based on my experience with both slings, here are my thoughts on several points:

  • Material: The Next9 is built from a thicker cotton fabric than the RJellybean, making it easier to handle and less prone to twisting and tangling. The advantage of the RJellybean’s lighter fabric, though, is you can wear your baby in it even on warmer days.
  • Ring: The Next9 has an aluminum ring, while the RJellybean has a thick nylon ring. Both are sturdy enough; strength is not the issue at all. I just found that the fabric slips less on the metal ring than on the nylon ring. I don’t know if it’s the material though – I’m wondering if the heavier material on a nylon ring would work as well.
  • Design: The Next9 is a plain length of cloth with an applique on the tail while the RJellybean has a print overall. The Next9 goes better with my wardrobe. Pero, maarte lang kasi ako, heehee.

Overall, I get along better with the Next9 than the RJellybean. One thing that the RJellybean has over the Next9 sling though, is price. It’s more affordable by a few hundred pesos and that itself could be the dealbreaker for some. And, the Next9 and RJellybean slings are great LOCAL products at affordable prices. Imported slings are more expensive and the fabric they use is usually for cooler weather.

You can order Next9 and RJellybean slings from their website or from several Multiply resellers. I saw some RJellybeans at Baby Co. in SM as well.

Note: These are unbiased opinions. The RJellybean was a gift and I paid for my Next9. Just saying.

Goodies Galore: Shopping Finds at the Belly Mama Baby Fair

So I made it to the Rockwell Tent for the Belly Mama Baby Fair last August 21. Yuh, I went shopping again. Here’s the loot!

1. Babinski Baby Receiving Blanket

I got this super cute receiving blanket to keep in the diaper bag. They had awesome prints, and each blanket was only 200 bucks!

So many other designs available for purchase on their website.

2. Babinski Nursing Bib

Also from the Babinski booth, I also bought this nursing bib/vest as an alternative to my Nursingmom cover.

The material is fabulously wrinkle-proof, it squashes to nothing and is a breeze to put on and take off!

3. Baby shoes from Obsidian Trading Company.

Three for PhP 450!! How can you not buy them??

Basti already wore them.

He wears the Converse-style sneakers with his favorite googoo&gaga onesie we bought from Tita Audrey!

4. Nursing Dresses from Mama.Baby.Love

You all know by now how much a fan I am of Jenny Ong’s Multiply store. I visited her booth and couldn’t resist buying these two dresses.

I wore this Blissful Babes Wrap Dress to my hubby’s exhibit opening last week.

Photo courtesy of Mama.Baby.Love.

Photos courtesy of Mama.Baby.Love.

And I wore this one from My Lovely Closet when I gave a breastfeeding testimonial at The Medical City’s Parenting 101 workshop.

Photo courtesy of Mama.Baby.Love.

Dear Medical City, I had fun sharing about breastfeeding in your parenting workshop. Please get me again. Ktnxbye.

5. Indigo Baby’s Jar of Hope

Photo courtesy of Indigo Baby

All-natural healing and soothing for baby and mommy!

It was a really good fair. I saw a few products I’d like to get for Basti when he’s older.

This will never end. God help my husband. :p

P.S. Thank you to Topaz Horizon‘s Frances Amper-Sales for nominating this blog in this year’s search for the top 10 emerging influential blogs. Now I know there’s at least one person who reads me! Hehe.

The Sarah Sleep Bra: A Quick Review

So in a previous post, I mentioned that I purchased the Sarah Sleep Bra from Mama.Baby.Love.

Photo courtesy of Mama.Baby.Love.

So I wore it to sleep because that’s what it’s meant for. Well, it’s so comfortable that I never want to take it off. It has adequate support and has enough elasticity to keep nursing pads in place. The thin, breathable fabric makes it perfect for the warm weather. Heck I’d buy this bra even if I wasn’t nursing, just for wearing around the house. It’s cheaper than Mamaway’s version too.

Postscript: I mentioned in a previous post that I didn’t like the Dynabelly brand for nursing bras without explaining why. Jenny of Mama.Baby.Love. asked me why, because apparently that nursing bra is her bestseller. Personally, I prefer the QT because it’s easier to peel off when it’s time to nurse. The Dynabelly is well-padded and when unhooked, just sorts of hangs there. It takes some effort to put it aside so the baby can nurse comfortably. For me, that’s not a good thing, because all it takes is a few seconds of delay before the baby starts wailing for milk. I have a feeling it sells better because of the padding – the QT isn’t padded at all. But I wear nursing pads with it all the time, so that doesn’t bother me!

My SaYa Baby Carrier Review and Personal How-To

I love the SaYa Baby Carrier so much that I am spreading the gospel of this babywearing method. Take note that I do not work for SaYa and I am not paid to do this stunning review.
So as I mentioned in my previous post on babywearing, the SaYa Baby Carrier is my and Basti’s favorite carrier among the three systems I have because:
  1.  The material is soft and stretchy. There are no rings that dig into my shoulder and it feels like wearing a t-shirt.
  2.  Just as advertised, Basti’s weight is spread evenly across my back and both shoulders. I can wear Basti for hours and we both don’t mind.
  3.  It can be peeled off, making the transition from carrier to crib wake-free for baby.
The things that can turn off a user from the SaYa are:
  1. It can be a challenge to put on.
  2. Once you’re carrying baby, it’s harder to carry anything else.
  3. There are limited designs available in stock.
For the first drawback, I’ve decided to share my own technique to make it clearer to those interested in getting the SaYa (and because I’ve received a number of messages asking how I figured it out). Here’s what I do when I kangaroo-carry Basti.
The SaYa comes as two linked pouches.
I noticed that the printed pouch seemed to be stretchier than the plain one, so I decided to put that around my waist and make it the support sling. The fabric gets all bunched up, so it helps to run your hands round the fabric to straighten it out before positioning it with the SaYa label on your belly button.
Then I get the other pouch and run my hands through the fabric to get rid of the bunches and twists…
.. before sliding my arm through the opening that faces my back…
.. and putting it over my head.
Spread it across your chest..
.. and get your baby ready by crossing his legs like a little Buddha.
With confidence and conviction, slide your baby into the pouch. I emphasize CONFIDENCE and CONVICTION because you really need these to put your baby into the seemingly small space. Even the tiniest bit of hesitation causes an epic SaYa fail.
Take the support sling…
..and slide it over your baby, with the label facing forward.
Now, slide your other arm through the support sling…
.. and put it over your shoulder.
TADAH! SaYa Success!
Now for the other two drawbacks: I find it hard to carry my baby bag with the SaYa covering my shoulders – the strap keeps slipping! A solution I found is to carry the bag with the strap under the SaYa fabric. Most of the time, I bring a stroller along too, so instead of carrying the baby, the stroller becomes a baby bag trolley.
How I wish Roots and Wings would make more of the designs available! I really wanted the brown/floral design, but had to settle for the purple print one because it was the only one available in my size!
And to prove how much I love the SaYa…
I got another one! This time in plain brown.
With the SaYa I’ve really enjoyed babywearing. It’s enabled me to bring Basti everywhere with less stress. Since I started wearing Basti I’ve been researching on other ways to wear him. Next on my wish list… the wrap or the mei tai!
UPDATE: Recent studies state that the Buddha carry is not recommended for long period. Try the front-carry! Instructions on this blog post.

Level Up Ang Shopping!: My Motherhood Shopping Finds

Who doesn’t love to shop? Being a mother, I discovered, took my shop-a-holic tendencies to other worlds. I love shopping, even on a limited budget, and a great find is always something worth sharing. My best motherhood shopping finds below.

1. Maxidresses at Greenhills.

I bought 5 maxidresses in Greenhills for 400-500 pesos each and rotated them with other pieces in my existing wardrobe for 39 weeks. I didn’t buy a single piece of maternity clothing.

2. The Belly Belt

This didn’t work as properly as advertised, but still helped to make my jeans fit, even on the 9th month of pregnancy.

photo courtesy of Mommy Matters

My friend Pia didn’t get to use hers because her thighs grew bigger during her pregnancy that her pants didn’t even fit any more.

3. Thirties Duo Wraps

photo courtesy of Pinoy Baby Store

These have saved many comforters and baby seat covers from being soiled. I bought two and alternate them. I’m planning to buy more in the next size for Basti to wear. I bought mine from the Pinoy Baby Store. They made a mistake and sent me the wrong color and there was absolutely no hassle exchanging for the correct products. Definitely an A-plus seller.

4. Chini Pino Fitted Diapers

I got these as a gift from Kakai, and together with the Thirties Duo Wraps, have turned daytime cloth diapering into a doable situation. I can’t imagine having to deal with a squirming baby and pins. Horror. On its own, you can even catch it from bleeding onto crib covers or on you, if you’re fast enough. The extra layers make it possible.

5. Bebe Chic Diaper Bag

photo courtesy of Chubby Cheeks

A gift from Ninang Carina, this bag is roomy enough but not so big to lug around. Some people find it too small, but I don’t have to carry bottles and formula around because Basti is still purely breastfed (yey!). Love the design.

6. Nursing Cover from Nursing Mom

Photo courtesy of Nursingmom

This nursing cover has saved me countless times. I’ve nursed in SM Hypermart, SM Savemore, Trinoma, in church and no one suspected a thing. One person actually thought it was a baby carrier! Hehe.

7. Fisher-Price Newborn to Toddler Rocker

This is my mom’s gift to Basti. I had trouble putting him down on the cot during the day, but this has saved my life. It’s a bit pricey, but considering you can use it till your child is 3 or 4 years old, I think it’s worth it.

8. Nursing Bras

I bought several nursing bras (and will have to buy more) and I ranged from So-En to QT. Panalo na ang So-En for the price and quality and is great for everyday use. Carina also bought me a couple from Sogo and they are great too. My ultimate favorite though is my QT Nursing Bra which I bought from Mama.Baby.Love.

Photo courtesy of Mama.Baby.Love.

The material is great and it’s the most comfortable one among everything I bought. Reasonably priced too. If you’re going to buy from Mama.Baby.Love don’t buy the Dynabelly brand. Trust me.

9. Pigeon Baby Products

Mag-Avent na kayong lahat – I love Pigeon! You can’t beat the Japanese when it comes to quality. Hindi pa siya mahal. Best finds are the disposable nursing pads that are 300+ for a pack of 36 (Avent’s was 800 pesos, ON SALE. Heller). But this I love most:

Forget the bulb aspirators – this one is the one that will suck any booger from your baby’s nose!

Number 10 on this list is “Baby Carriers”. The thing is, I have three (a ring sling, a pouch and the SaYa system), but I have yet to learn how to use them properly. Some kind souls have volunteered to teach me, so I shall post a review of that sometime soon.

In the meantime… more shopping!!!!

Spa Wherever You Are – A Review

spa wherever you are

I love home service spas. When we used to live in Town and Country on Marcos Highway, Orley and I would occasionally call therapists from Renmar Spa, who had some of the best massage therapists we’ve ever encountered in a home service spa. Cheap too.

But after Ondoy happened, and we had to move to Novaliches (where it’s rumored that you need a passport and a visa to enter – not true. But it is that far), it was bye-bye Renmar and hello to place where home service spas didn’t exist.

Upon doing a search, I found Spa Wherever You Are, a home service spa that had Novaliches Proper in their list of service area. So I called for a massage for Orley and a mani-pedi for me because they had a minimum charge for my area (again, yes, it’s that far).

They arrived on time, shuttled by a mini-jeep with their banner happily painted on its side.

Pros:

1. Professional therapists with complete and clean equipment.

2. Reasonable price.

Unfortunately, there are more cons.

1. My nail technician was good enough. She worked cleanly and accurately. No cuts. Except she advertised herself too much to the extent of berating her co-workers. Probably so I would ask for her the next time I call for service. It was such a turn-off.

2. Orley said his massage was just okay. For the same price, he’s had better massages.

3. Even though the girl who took my call asked me specifically if I needed change and I answered that I did, the girls weren’t told. I had to scramble around for barya and ended up giving them small tips because that’s all the money I had.

4. They were picked up late. They stayed in my house for an extra 45 minutes (till almost midnight) until my pregnant self couldn’t take it anymore. I had to show them out and they waited in our front lawn for their pickup jeep. I have no idea what time they really left.

Now that I actually live in the area they often service, I have no desire to avail of their services again.

Rating: 7/10