Wednesday, May 15, 2013

{Baby Things}

Becoming a mother is probably the most rewarding and joyful experiences I have had to this point.  But it can be pretty overwhelming.  The good news is there's no perfect way and every mother has her own style.  I am the first one of my friends to have a baby, the first one in my immediate family, and I was the first one in our Sunday School class.  So I read a lot of articles and other blogs and went on my intuition to put together some things to have for our sweet baby.  I'm a pretty practical person, and frankly it seems like a lot of things marketed out there just play on our oh-so-emotional-mommy selves.  So here's the list I wish I had (5 1/2 months into it):

Boppy:  Oh, the infamous Boppy!  Good for breastfeeding, but also for baby to relax in and use for tummy time.  I recommend a cover too, especially if your baby spits up a good bit.

O-Ball:  This is the first toy that my little one really grasped and still likes it at 5 1/2 months old.  It's light and flexible, so he can chew on it and if he bonks himself in the head, it's no problem.  Side Story:  I remember Crosby being a few days old and trying to do tummy time with him.  I had heard of it and my phone app said I could try it.  So, being that perfect mother I was going to be, I was surely going to do it!  Well, I got out a couple of toys and put him on the floor on his tummy and waited.  He lifted his head a tiny bit... and then it came crashing down.  He didn't play with his toys or coo on his tummy like I thought he might.  That's when I realized a few things.  a)That I was going to be a fine mother, but shouldn't strive to be perfect because I don't expect my son to be perfect and we're learning together.  b)That even with the experience I had babysitting and working at pre-schools through the years, there were things to still learn.  c)That children progress on their own and that we as parents don't need to force anything on them.  It's great to provide learning opportunities, but we shouldn't force it.

Crinkly Toys:  C loves his "crunchy monkey" as we call it.  We throw it in his car seat for short or long trips, even just to the grocery store.

Small quilt for floor time:  Admittedly, I don't vaccuum near enough, and even if I did, I wouldn't want my baby where we walk, so it's nice to have something to spread out for him to play on.

Books:  Go crazy on books.  Get the nostalgic ones, but also get this one.  Crosby loves to just look, and there's lots to talk about with it.  Babies need to hear you read whole sentences for language development.  If you're like me, you talk in choppy sentences to your baby and sometimes use baby talk.  Yeah... it's kind of silly, but it kind of just naturally happens.  It seems to calm them too.  Plus, when the Pediatrician came in to do one last check-up before Crosby and I were discharged from the hospital, among one of the questions I asked was "Is there anything we should or shouldn't do?"  He looked at me kind of like, you'll be fine, don't worry so much and said "No."  But then he said, "Well, yes.  Read to him."  He then talked about how important it was. (All that being said, don't feel like you have to do it when your baby is really young.  You will probably be in survival mode just keeping up with feedings and diaper changes.... not to mention yourself!)

*Infant Swing:  Luckily, I found mine for about $35 on consignment.  It also vibrates, which really helped to calm Crosby when he was 1-2 months old.  He still sits in it after feeding to let his tummy digest.  We also put him in it while we eat dinner (unless we eat one-handed, which happens often).  I really like that it's so compact so that we can move it around the house.

Infant Bath:  I like my fisher price whale because you can remove the hump that keeps him up once he is bigger.  It also came with a little whale that has holes in it to wet his head and such.
4 Hooded Towels:  I normally use a towel twice as long as he doesn't poop, pee, or spit up in it!
10 Washcloths:  Laundry isn't my strength and I use a new washcloth every time, so I like to have plenty.

**Manual Breast Pump:  If you plan to breast feed at all, you have to have this!  You will get engorged over-night and just randomly in the first few weeks.  Also, if you're like me and you don't like to feed in public, you can just pump ahead of time.  I have the Medela Harmony and used it about once a day for a long time until I had to go to bottle-feeding at 3 months so I could add rice to his pumped milk.

*Medela Pumping Bra:  You'll feel like a cow if you pump at all, and it's not gonna leave you feeling sexy, but you might as well have your hands free if you pump electrically.
2 Fitted Sheets:  You need a couple so you can have one while the other's washing.

2  (waterproof) Matress Pads:  For obvious reasons...

3 Swaddle Blankets:  These are nice because they're light weight for the summer, and obviously good for swaddling.  

3 flannel receiving blankets:  You'll use these in the car seat if it's cold or when you go to the Ped.  (He'll be in just a diaper from the weight check until the Doc comes in, so you'll be glad to have one!)
my sweet baby sleeping swaddled

6 Pairs Bootie Socks:  I have the little bootie type and they have been worn for 5 months now.  You'll need these in the winter, but also year-round unless it's just really warm out.  Now that it's spring here in Alabama, Crosby goes out barefoot a lot, but if it's the least bit chilly, you'll need some.

6 Gerber Sleep n Play outfits:  These are great for the whole day.  And they come in 0-3, which Crosby seriously wore for at least 2 months.  

**Bibs:  Green Sprouts makes some that are terry-cloth like, but are water-resistant.  This is a big deal when you have a spitter-upper like mine who was eventually diagnosed with reflux.  I have probably 20, but if you're not blessed with a reflux baby or you're better about laundry, you can do with less.

**Burp Cloths:  Go ahead and get some cloth diapers.  those thin little things made by Gerber hardly soak anything.  We have like 20 of these and again it's because we use so many and I am not the best at staying on top of laundry.

*Stroller:  We knew from talking to parents and looking online that we wanted a jogger so that it would be easier to steer.  We got the Baby Jogger City Elite. It's a little hefty, but I love it!  It is so easy to fold and pop out.  You literally pull the handle that says "Fold Here" to fold it and to pop it up, you grab the handle bar and lift it open.  There aren't any other buttons or latches.  Also, the handle moves up and down to make it comfortable for me (5'3") and my husband (6'6").  We use it frequently and we got the car seat adaptor.  Sometimes I wonder if the City Mini would have been easier to tote, but mine has big wheels that get throught gravel and all-terrain situations.

Chicco keyfit 30, pad-a-lily, and "crunchy monkey"
*Chicco Keyfit 30 Carseat:  After reading up on these, I knew that government regulations made it so that all carseats were safe, so I wasn't worried about that.  I was looking for something C could be in for as long as possible, that would wipe up easily (thank God, for real... he spits up in it all the time!), and that was easy to strap him in and pop it into the car.  It was so easy to install the base and very obvious.  Same with getting him in and out.

*Pad-a-lily carseat handle pad:  I carry C's car seat all around and that thing isn't light.  It's also quite awkward.  Thankfully, someone came up with the idea of Pad-a-lily.  You can put your arm through and hold it with your elbow, freeing your other arm.  (Side note:  you will build muscle until you can do this with no problem, but at first that thing is so heavy!)

**Must Have
*Love it!

... Now, take a deep breath and know that you're going to be a wonderful mother no matter what you buy or don't buy, have done or don't.  

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