This blog post is sponsored by Philips Avent. The opinions expressed are my own.
If you’ve been following my journey from mom of two to mom of four, you’ll know the arrival of the Cub Twins brought all sorts of game-changing experiences my way. I suppose it’s an asset, considering my line of work, to have experienced a variety of birth and postpartum scenarios. The universe clearly has my longevity as a Mommy Blogger in mind!
My first two babies latched almost immediately after birth and didn’t look back for over two years. I remember desperate attempts to get them to accept a bottle, with lukewarm success. I remember watching the pacifier I so hoped would free my nipple for a few moments be spat across the room.
As for their brothers, the NICU nurses gave them bottles and pacifiers while I was recovering in the maternity ward, and I immediately feared that breastfeeding would be impossible. Alas, my versatile little twins took bottles and soothers and my breasts. Now 14 months old, I’m happy to still be nursing them (but glad that bottles are a thing of the past).
Something I was very quick to learn about having preemie twins in the NICU is that in order to survive, it was impossible for me to be by their sides 24/7. As important as skin-to-skin and breastfeeding were to me, the most important thing I could do for my preemies was to take care of myself so I would be in as good shape as possible upon their discharge. At the end of my day shift of bottle and breastfeeding, pumping, changing diapers and snuggling the boys in our little NICU cubicle, I’d swaddle them up, give them their Avent Soothies and let the fabulous nurses take over. I knew they felt secure all bundled up and gently sucking on their pacifiers. (Note that these pacifiers with with the little cut-out are only available in hospitals, they’re Philips Wee Soothies. The regular, round Soothies can be found in stores!)
For an agonizing five days, I wasn’t allowed to visit them due to a nasty cold, but my husband and mom would send me pictures of them snuggled in their incubators contentedly snoozing with their Soothies in place.
From my chair in the NICU I started ordering the supplies we would need upon discharge, and naturally one of the first items in my cart were Avent Soothies just like the ones the NICU gave us. I still have the ones we came home from the hospital with—they’re a precious reminder of how tiny my babies once were and those two weeks they spent in the NICU.
In those chaotic first months home, I’m not sure what we lost more: the Apple TV remote or the babies’ Soothies. Pacifier clips definitely helped, but I found the Soothies with a stuffed animal attached were the easiest to keep track of. And then I went to sanitize those Soothies only to realize that they were sewn into the stuffed animal: impossible to sanitize and impossible to replace the Soothie after it wore out.
What I needed was the new Philips Avent Ultra Soft Snuggle. Available in your choice of four cute animal companions—monkey, giraffe, elephant or seal—the soother can be removed from the animal for washing and replacing, and you can attach the whole thing to a pacifier clip if you want to!
You can use your Soothie Snuggle with baby’s favourite Avent pacifier, and it can become a tag-along toy if your babies (like mine) turn into committed thumb-suckers and bid their soothers goodbye.
I found it really frustrating that our other stuffed animal/pacifier combos were one-time use products. Soothers are meant to be replaced every three to four months, so it doesn’t make sense for them to be sewn permanently to a toy. Plus, soothers get dropped frequently, and especially for preemies and young babies in general, it’s important to sterilize their bottles and pacifiers … which is a bit tricky with a stuffed animal permanently attached.
I wish we’d had Avent Ultra Soft Snuggles from the beginning. But now that the Soothies are but a memory, the Ultra Soft Snuggles live on, attached to pacifier clips. The Cub Twins love their elephants clipped to their jackets while riding in the car seat or stroller—they’re cuddly companions that are hard to lose!