2011 » 05 » ball

Multi-Purpose Mommy Finds: Gaiam Balance Ball Chair

It’s so daunting to register when you’re having a baby. I remember being somewhat stymied by picking a china pattern and deciding how many place settings of flatware to register for as a bride, but the confusion then was nothing compared to the confusion I felt registering for my first baby before she even got here. Did I really need a baby tub? I mean, our tub/shower isn’t really conducive for bathing a baby, so maybe…Do we need a bottle warmer? What about a wipes warmer—touted by many as the ultimate in ridiculous baby accoutrement, but endorsed by my wise sister?

But some of the stuff that has turned out to be most important so far with this kid was never on our registry.

Take, for example, our Balance Ball Chair from Gaiam.

My father-in-law, a consummate garage saler, found this for me for $10 several months before we even got pregnant, but during my pregnancy and after, it has been an absolute godsend.

Early in my pregnancy, I used the ball—sans chair—for working out because lots of the prenatal strength training exercises I was doing called for use of an exercise ball. And, once I started working from home, sitting at my desk on the ball chair for four or five hours a day was about the only way to make my work days not wreck havoc on my lower back.

When I grew more enormously pregnant, our sofa suddenly became a pale blue, overstuffed trap from which I had a great deal of trouble escaping. Add to that the advice my doula gave me about sitting up as straight as possible during the last month or two of my pregnancy to help the baby move into the ideal position, and the ball chair moved permanently from the upstairs office to the living room next to the sofa that wanted to eat me. Being able to sit up straight, be comfortable and get up and down without the use of a pulley system was absolutely invaluable as I grew larger and larger.

But I assumed once baby arrived, the chair would migrate back up to the office—not so. Almost immediately, my family and I discovered the bouncy potential of the chair for comforting a fussy baby. My sister, who helped immensely during those first few days when our new baby’s “witching hour” fell between 8 and 11pm, endorsed “aggressive bouncing” for calming the otherwise inconsolable little bean baby. Two weeks in, bouncing on the ball chair remains one of our favorite pastimes.

Purchased new the chair does not come cheap, but knowing what I know now, I would absolutely recommend a mom-to-be add one to her registry—either for that extremely generous relative who abhors stepping into a baby store, or for a collaborative gift from a gaggle of friends.