Things I wish I had known…and registered for.

17 11 2011

Before I forget, I wanted to post some things I found useful from others and through experience.

1. For disposable diapers, Pampers with the indicator line are the way to go! Checking for the blue line is a time saver and so convenient. I found that we went through about 100 newborn diapers (for 7lb 14 oz average size baby) until it was time for Size 1…which we are still in.

2. For a bassinet, the Rock N Play is an affordable option that is easily portable for travelling too. The baby lays at an incline which turns out to be important for avoiding spitting up and gas discomfort as a newborn!

3. Video monitor. I went for the more practical sound-only baby monitor and trusted reviews that the video monitor is overrated and overpriced. But I’ll admit there are many times I wish I could “see” her just to make sure she is breathing and sleeping well!

4. A gazillion burp cloths, wash cloths, onesies of all sizes/particularly 3-6 months, infant sized socks in PLAIN colors, and sleep sacks for swaddling (all sizes too). I never seem to have enough of these.

5. A soothing sound machine. This is critical to keep a sleeping baby sleeping through barking dogs and creaky floors.

6. The sleep sheep. Provides nice sleepy cues for baby as part of bedtime routine.

7. Stroller accessories. Turns out having an attachable storage space and cup holder, a winter stroller cover, and a rain shield are a must.

8. A variety of bottles and pacifiers. Every mom seems to go through their own journey with their baby to discover which bottle and which pacifier will work best, and amazingly every baby is different! The best I can advise is, have a variety on hand. Some of the most popular right now are: Tommy Tippee, Playtex Drop-Ins, and the Nook (with matching pacifier options)

9. A bouncer seat that automatically bounces. It was quite confusing to learn that what is called a “bouncer” seat at the store does not actually bounce automatically (mostly they vibrate and play music). We have stuck with ours, but a number of other mothers have bought one that also automatically bounces and rate it highly.

10. The Moby wrap. Not every mother agrees that their little one likes this “carrier” option, but I found it to be a lifesaver way to both carry and breastfeed my little one in the early weeks.

11. A sling. I know, it seems redundant and unnecessary with the above wrap. But it turns out both come in handy for the little infants. The Peanut sling and the Balboa seem to be most popular with moms I know.

A quick note about things we DID register for or receive and couldn’t live without…

-An exercise ball- Buy this as soon as you find out you are pregnant. I used it all through pregnancy as a comfortable seating option, and daily now as a way to soothe our infant.

-A swing- doesn’t need to be fancy, just one that swings and is comfortable for an infant but can grow into larger baby ages.

-An easy snap-n-go car seat stroller combo, as lightweight and narrow as possible.

-The “breast friend pillow” (if breast feeding). This is WAY better than the boppy pillow. It is more stable, and contoured better for comfortable feeding. I had to be “weaned” off of mine to get out into the world without one.

-Munchkin trash bags clipped onto the diaper bag. It is SO handy to have a good smelling way to dispose of baby diapers. Amazing how many people look disapproving when you suddenly have to change a baby’s diaper in a changing room or elsewhere in public.

Lastly, a couple of things we have but DON’T use…

-Baby products like oils, lotions, etc. We use one bottle of baby shampoo for all baths, and one bottle of diaper ointment. For some reason I stocked our house like we were having quadruplets with lots of skin care needs.

-Baby Bjorn- I got one at a garage sale but have found that it hurts my back. I guess there is a newer one with more back support, but the original just wasn’t cutting it.

We love the library- 6 Weeks old

16 11 2011

Amelia and I went to the library for the second time to attend a play group for babies, and missed out for the second time. The first time the group was too crowded, and this time I had the wrong day. But both times, we have loved just being in the library. There are wide aisles for the stroller, and plenty of quiet discreet corners where I can sit and feed Amelia. At home I often feel stranded when feeding her, having forgotten to grab my phone, the remote or even a burp cloth. At the library we are surrounded by books which I can skim or just peruse all the titles. And I have everything I need, burp cloths and blankets, conveniently in the diaper bag.

During both library visits, we happened to land in the “parenting aisle” during feeding. On the first trip I learned some good tips about raising girls and I skimmed the “raising-a-teenager” chicken soup for the soul (never too early, right?) This time I found the birth to one year-old books. First I skimmed a book on baby sign language and found it helpful to brush up on the basic signs…eat, drink, dog, cat, diaper change. Then I found a book about newborns, but had to put it down because I immediately found two or three things we didn’t do “right” those first weeks and realized amazingly Amelia is out of the newborn infancy weeks.  Then I came across this one- IMG_1868

I had been wondering lately…now that we got the feeding and soothing down, what are we supposed to be doing with her? It turns out there are a number of developmental milestones she has been able to do since one-month (two weeks ago!) that I did not even realize:

  • If we put a rattle in her hand, she will hold it for a while (even though she doesn’t  realize yet that it isn’t an extension of her hand).
  • She can tell the difference between hard and soft things; the tactile sensation understanding develops very early.
  • We should give her the pacifier when she is calm and well fed, not when she is fussy (it’s no wonder she hasn’t been willing to take one).

Looking ahead at month two milestones (just two weeks away):

  • She will begin to smile at new faces.
  • She will discover that her hands are actually hands!
  • She will kick at things and realize she is making things happen when she kicks.

Something I particularly like about this book is that they suggest a lot of playtime ideas that are simple to make at home. For example they suggest drawing a face puppet and watching her smile when she sees it. Also, hanging a bulletin board over her changing table with different colors and textured things, changing them over time.

We tried some of the tips…

Tummy and Play Time Video

14 11 2011