Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hoppy Easter! / More Pictures / Daddy's Favorite Baby Things

Happy Easter!
Thank you grandma for the basket & auntie Dana for the Hearts for Hearts Nahji doll!

Zoe & Saffy
Madam would request no pictures, please!

Daddy's Favorite Baby Things:
Baby Brezza Kettle
(keeps water at bottle temperature all the time)

Boppy Pillow (perfect for feeding, tummy time, sitting up)

(at-a-glance, it shows the room's temperature)

Tommee Tippee Anti-colic Bottles
(don't know if they work, but no colic so far)

SwaddleMe Blanket
(she can't escape & it keeps her from startling)

Fisher-Price Snugabunny Swing
(LIFE-SAVER! Gets her to sleep a long time! The swing pivots to rock or swing) 
Munchkin Wipe Warmer
(she hates cold wipes - they don't wake her up in the middle of the night)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Devil with a Blue Dress On

Two weeks later...  It's been busy.  We had my family out to visit and were trying to get the house cleaned up (or at least presentable) and get some last-minute home improvement things done (like installing blinds and curtains).
We had such a great time having my family here to spend time with the baby.  My niece had her birthday on St. Patrick's Day and Saffron just had to dress up for the occasion!
Don't tell me when to quit drinkin', you don't know me!
Saffy was spoiled by her grandma, auntie, and cousin.  The daddies also got to have a date night and went out for Indian food, followed by Irish coffees.  Saffy received a ton of clothes and toys from this visit.  The good news is she has TONS of clothes, the bad news...she's outgrown the newborn and a few of the 0-3 month outfits.  We've even moved up to size 1 diapers since she hit the 10 pound mark!
Bear-y cute!
At the end of the week, we were sad to see the family leave but glad to be able to finally hold our little girl again!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Packing (Part 2 of 2): Things You Need, Don't Need, & Shopping

This is basically for a 2-week stay (post-baby).  Part 1 of "Packing" is here.

Things we brought (and actually used):

  • Phil & Ted's Cocoon Carrier - Best thing ever!  We got our green one at Also get a newborn insert so he or she doesn't roll around in the cocoon.  We also used the insert in the crib our apartment provided us.
  • Diapers & Wipes: Newborn-Sized (figure 8-10 per day - Pampers Swaddlers worked best for us, Huggies Little Snugglers were a close second, the generic store brands didn't seem soft enough or didn't conform well to her body).  We scoured M-Block for newborn-sized Pampers and the ones they have are comparable in size to size-1 diapers in the US.  We ended up finding Pampers Swaddlers at Denzine Kids at M-Block (also found the Similac there) but the newborn size was just too big.  Wipes are available almost everywhere, but if you plan to bring some from home, I would suggest 2-3 packs.
  • Formula:  We decided to start with Similac Advance and brought 2 cans of powder & 2 boxes of ready-to-feed bottles (or 16 two-ounce bottles) for the plane rides home.  In the end, we should have brought an extra can of powder.  Because our little singleton made it to 40 weeks, she had a ravenous appetite and we paid through the nose to get a can of Similac in M-Block (about $70 US dollars!).  The ready-to-feed bottles were  life-savers on the plane, as British Airways couldn't heat a bottle or supply warm bottled water (they offered us the hot water they use for coffee, but could not tell us if it was filtered or not). My only suggestion is to buy the extra nipples that fit the ready-to-feeds, they only supply one nipple per box and you'll have to clean the same nipple for the other seven bottles. Our reasoning for bringing the formula was so we wouldn't have to switch her from Nan formula when we got back home.  Nan is comparable to Gerber GoodStart (both owned by Nestle Nutrition), so switching shouldn't be an issue if you choose that formula, but consult your pediatrician or doctor before making your decision.  We also rolled the dice on bringing regular Similac: if she was born with an allergy or sensitivity, we would have been out of luck.
  • Bottles: We brought 7 bottles, and could have easily got by with 4 or 5 since we ended up washing them so frequently.  Bring a few extra nipples, just in case.  We use Tommee Tippee Anti-Colic bottles and none of the stores carry that brand.  We bought a bottle brush and drying rack at one of the baby stores at M-Block.
  • Newborn-Sized Clothes:  Onsies and Sleep & Plays (feety pajamas) are available in India, but the sizing is way too big (newborn size is 0-3 months size there).  When we found out we had a girl, we wanted to buy some girlish clothes and everything newborn there was way too big for her (and she was over 7 lbs!).  Before you leave for Delhi, get a few newborn-sized items to take with you and leave the tags on (or wash them before and donate them if your little one is too big).  I didn't even see preemie-size anywhere (Denzine Kids, Mothercare, Mom & Me, or Weiners), so plan accordingly.  We also brought much more clothes than we needed or used.  We had a washing machine in our apartment, and we could have got by with about four Sleep & Plays, four Onsies, four gowns, and two pants.  We also brought a pack of socks (6 pairs), newborn hats, and scratch mittens (she never wore the mittens).
  • Munchkin microwave sterilizer bags (so easy and takes up virtually no room).
  • Pacifiers - Saffron's never taken to them, but it never hurts to have 1 or 2, just in case.
  • Bedding: Receiving blankets (4-6), regular blankets (3-4), burp cloths (4-6), waterproof mattress pads (2), and cloth diapers (6-10).  Cloth diapers are good for burping and cleaning up spit-up (you could skip the burp cloths if you bring these); we also used them on changing pads to keep things neat and tidy.  They're also cheap enough to leave behind if you run out of room in your luggage.
  • Miscellaneous: Grooming kit, nasal aspirator, thermometer (we brought Vicks thermometer patches), diaper-rash cream, and gas-relief drops.
  • SwaddleMe by Summer Infant: We didn't bring this, but wish we did.  Our little escape-artist got out of every swaddle we put her in.
  • Lullaby/Music Player: We brought a portable cot for co-sleeping and never used it, but it came with a music player/vibrator (get your mind out of the gutter!).  The awful music this thing played was very calming to the baby and often soothed her to sleep.  I'm sure an iPod or MP3 player would work just as well, so load it up with unbearable baby music.
  • Diaper Bag/Backpack - we got a masculine diaper backpack.  Personally, I think men can look a bit silly carrying a diaper bag.  Plus the backpack frees up your arms.  Bottom-line, when you go out or fly home, you're going to need food, clothing, and diapering supplies close at hand.
  • Big-People Clothes:  This is where we were smart, we took about 5 changes of clothes each and just did laundry every few days, so our luggage was really light.  Hey, they lasted us a month! 
  • Medicine: We never got Delhi-belly, diarrhea, or vomiting.  We both got (unrelated) sinus infections, and that's it.  We drank only bottled water, but I ended up taking a few gulps of water in the shower by accident and brushed my teeth with tap water and nothing happened.  That being said, be prepared: get your shots, malaria pills, bismuth (Pepto Bismol), and anti-diarrhea pills ready.  The chemists/pharmacies have almost everything you need (a lot of prescription drugs in the US are available over-the-counter here but they have different names, so do your research).  Consult with a doctor before taking something with unfamiliar ingredients.
  • Entertainment:  You're going to get bored.  Yes, even with a baby, boredom will find you. Load up your laptop or tablet with TV shows, movies, music, books, and games.  If you have a smartphone, bring it and turn off the cell/data services and use WiFi only. You can play games, Facebook, and IM with one hand during those middle of the night feedings.

Things we bought in India:
  • Bottle drying rack (was cheap enough to leave behind, too bulky to take back)
  • Vaporizer/Humidifier: Things were very dry there--cost about $50 USD, but worth it (gave it away - we had no room in our luggage and also would have had to use an adapter to use it at home)
  • Sponge for bathing the baby (dry off with a receiving blanket).
  • Traditional Indian clothing.  We wanted to get Saffy some nice clothing from the country she was born in.  Most of it is for when she's a little older, but you can't really get it anywhere else.
  • Mosquito net (we never used it).

Things we didn't need to bring:
  • Clothes (we brought too much!).  Having a washing machine in our apartment, we could have packed much lighter.
  • Baby shampoo, lotion, oil, powder.  They sell it all there, just buy small bottles so you don't waste them and don't have to bring them back.
  • Baby Bjorn Carrier - I used it once and could have done without it.
  • Burp cloths and bibs (if you bring cloth diapers, you really don't need them).
  • Travel cot/bed sleeper.  Our apartment came with a crib/cot, but you can easily use the Phil & Ted's Cocoon for sleeping.

  • M-Block (GK-1): They have three baby stores: Denzine Kids, Weiners, and Mom & Me. They also have a Coffee Bean, Dunkin' Donuts, and several other cafes & restaurants. Places we liked to eat at: Cafe Coffee Day, Brown Sugar, and Spice Water Trail.  There are some nice clothing stores, an iStore (which is like an Apple store), small grocery stores, chemists/pharmacies, electronics and toy stores, and more.
  • Kailash Colony Market (Kailash Colony):  Lots of small stores, has a pretty big grocery store, chemists/pharmacies, and restaurants.  Saleem's Restaurant was a pretty good place to eat, they also deliver.  Another good restaurant that had more western-like food was The Big Chill.  Maxim's has really nice cakes and sweets that will appeal to everyone (there's also another store that has more traditional Indian sweets a few doors down).
  • M-Block (GK-2): A few clothing stores, groceries, and restaurants - I didn't really care too much for this M-Block, but they have a really great place to eat called Not Just Paranthas (absolutely delicious!).
  • Select Citywalk/DLF Place (Saket): This is pretty much like a typical big-city mall.  Lots of clothing stores, cafes, restaurants, movie theatres, electronics, toys, etc.  They have a Mothercare and Mom & Me in both malls.  Select Citywalk has a Chicco store, but it's a bit overpriced and has nothing you can't get back at home.  DLF Place also has an "Apple store" called Imagine.  If you're staying at Svelte or the Hilton Garden Inn, and don't want to venture into Delhi too much, then you should be able to get everything you need here, though probably at greater cost.  We stayed in S-Block in GK-1 and had everything we needed at the local markets.  Also, locals love taking pictures at the mall!  Get your face ready to photo-bomb!
Hope this helps those getting ready for their journey!

Oh, and the best souvenir:
This is how I knew we were having a girl!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Looks Like An Angel, Sounds Like A Zombie.

Almost laughing...
Baby honey-bunny!
Well, we've been home almost two weeks and are still adjusting to life at home with Saffron. The cats and dog have shown no signs of jealousy, nor has Saffy shown any signs of pet allergies. Whew! She's eating a lot and is just starting to sleep long enough for us to actually get some shut-eye too. She's had a few real baths and seems to like them pretty well. She's also been for two check-ups with the pediatrician and is quite healthy and thriving. Overall, she's a very happy, healthy baby. And heavy: over 9 lbs!
Cute as a cupcake!
Always smiling!
All bundled-up to see the doctor

Laying next to our behemoth cat, Patrick
Head's up for tummy time.
Daddy's best friend: the straightjacket SwaddleMe blanket
Wearing Daddy's glasses to watch the Oscars
Meanwhile, I've been catching up on TV shows during early morning feedings.  And let me tell you, there's nothing more chilling than watching "The Walking Dead" in the middle of the night, living in the middle of the woods, and your baby daughter grunts and groans like a zombie!  The sounds this girl makes...absolutely terrifying!  

Next week, we get a visit from Gangy Linda, Auntie Dana, and Cousin Jessica - we can't wait!!!