Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Newborn Essentials Part 2

Part two of my newborn essentials!

(5 months in his bouncer)

We weren't really interested in getting a standing swing because we were concerned about space. When I wrote yesterday to start with the basics and buy as needed, that has been our approach to almost everything so far. I hate having clutter so the less we bought in to the things we "needed" the less we accumulated. Anyway, this bouncer rocks! It doesn't shake, vibrate, light up, sing, or any of the other bells and whistles that some other swings have but it has been perfect for us. Aesthetically, it is designed so much nicer than the gigantic plastic ones and it can also be folded and tucked away. It has several settings from sitting up to laying down. When Phoenix was tiny, he napped on the lowest setting all the time. We didn't have a crib and since he was sleeping every few hours, we would keep this bouncer in the living room and just lay him down when he was asleep, bouncing him whenever he stirred. It was perfect. Now that he is 6 months, we don't use it for sleeping but we do still use it daily. It's super helpful as a safe place to put him while I leave the room for a minute or can keep him entertained while I'm cooking. Around 4 months he started getting bored just sitting in it so we bought the wooden toythat went along with it. He really loved it and still plays with it all the time. I highly recommend this simple little bouncer if you are looking for an alternative to hideous plastic swing machines.

(one month old on his play mat)

Skip Hop Activity Gym
I was really against getting a play gym. Why? Because I thought they were all so tacky, huge, and loud. At the last moment, I put this one on our registry and when some sweet friends got it for us I could feel my anxiety setting in about actually taking it out of the package and using it. It seemed so big and colorful. Fast forward to about two months and P couldn't take his eyes off of it. I took it out of the package one day and we have been using it every day since. As these things tend to come, this is a pretty cute one. The colors are somewhat subtle and tasteful and the modern design (throughout the brand) lends itself to a more pleasing aesthetic in your shared family space. Basically, it doesn't scream "Hey, a baby lives here!!!" Even though it does. The birds/animals also squeak and make little sounds but not in an obnoxious way. I love that one of the birds is holding a wooden ring which has been both a teether and pull up, in the past few weeks. Now that P is on the verge of crawling, he likes exploring the actual mat and yell at the apples and leaves. Obviously, he loves it.

(4 Months in his stroller)
(5 months and very serious)

UPPAbaby Vista Stroller
I adore our stroller. I didn't really start using it much until about a month and a half ago. Until then, I almost always wore Phoenix. Even though I still wear him a lot, it's nice to have the option to take him in the stroller for a longer walk, since he's getting so heavy. Now, I've never had another stroller to compare this one to but I did practice on a few while I was pregnant and this one felt the most comfortable, for sure. The main reason I liked it though, was that it came with a bassinet. I know that several different brands also come with a bassinet so maybe those work better for you. The other feature I love is the huge basket underneath with pockets. I have crammed so many groceries under there, plus a baby bag, plus blankets, toys, etc... The canopy also has a built in UV/SPF pull down extension which is helpful on super sunny days. The interior of the bassinet is made of organic cotton and the mattress is made out of organic soybeans, if that's important to you. Oh, and Scott was impressed with the suspension and handling. Maybe your husband/partner will be to. (Suspension, what?) 

Sleep Sheep
I think I may enjoy the Sleep Sheep more than I should. I have told Scott that I think they should restructure their business and market to adults. That's another post...
This little guy is soft, soothing, and pretty neutral (which we enjoy). He make four sounds, one of which is an intense and scary sounding heart beat. We don't put on that sounds, ever. However, we all enjoy the waves crashing, rain falling, as well as the whale sounds. Thank you Sleep Sheep. I'm not sure if you actually put our baby to sleep (Wait, babies sleep?) but you put me in a generally more restful state every evening. 

(In his sleeping gown - 8 days old)

Sleep Gowns
You will change a lot of diapers. Day and night. In general, you want to make this task as quick as possible, but at night you you want to be able to do it with your eyes closed. Enter: the sleep gown. I originally didn't buy any of these for baby P because I thought they didn't look as cozy as his little jammies. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. These gowns are heaven sent. No zippers or even worse, snaps (uuuugghhhh) to deal with. Just hike up the elastic. Swap out diaper. Boom, done! And he looked so sweet in it. I was sad when he grew out of these little dresses, er, gowns. 

(9 days old on his blanket)

Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets
I know these blankets are all over the place and I know it's crazy to pay so much for blankets but these blankets rock! You will (as I did) receive tons of receiving blankets. People love to give blankets for some reason. But if some sweet friend or relative asks you what you're looking for, suggest these. They are big enough to swaddle your baby, lay out as a play blanket, drape over your stroller, fold up into a little pillow, or use as a ribbon dancing toy as we do. There are really so many possibilities. Since P was born in the winter months, we didn't really uses these to keep him warm but I have been using them a ton lately. And the colors/designs are really cute compared to some of the teddy bear overload out there. 

Medela Pump in Style
What can I say about breast pumps? It is not super pleasant to pump. But most of us have to at some point. I am lucky that I work from home and so I don't have to pump exclusively for P like some (amazingly dedicated) moms do. But when I do, I thank my lucky stars that I have this pump. It is easy to use, gets the uncomfortable job done quick, and is a breeze to clean. I've never used a manual pump but if you are going to go the route of an electric pump, this is an excellent choice.

Easy Meals

Remember when I posted this pumpkin mac and cheese recipe? Yum. Well it was only a few weeks prior to my due date and I was starting to stock up on freezer meals. I made a few trays of food as well as some home made frozen burritos for us to have on hand. Even though we still ordered take out, it was so amazing to have fresh, wholesome food on hand with no time or energy to cook. Nursing around the clock makes you both insatiably hungry and super thirsty so eating too much sodium laden take out or processed meals will just make you feel even more depleted than you already do. Not to mention, whatever you eat goes to the baby and you don't want too much of that in your body or theirs.

image via
The Internet

Both a blessing and a curse. I think if you looked back in my Google search history, you would find anything from, "Can I really survive on two hours of sleep?" to "What color should a newborn's poop be." Real life. Things get questionable around 5 am when you're delirious and have no idea what to do. In times of despair I found the ramblings of other moms and dads to be a comfort as well as sometimes instilling sheer terror in me. If you're really unsure of something, ask your doctor, of course. Blogs are nice to read to keep your sanity and feel like you're not the only one out there experiencing this craziness. But I think you'll find that your instinct will always lead you to do what feels right in your heart. Many times when I have felt that I was "supposed to" do something that didn't feel quite right, I agonized over it. Reading different studies, opinions, and blogs. In the end, I usually went back to my first instinct and immediatley felt so much relief. That fact that you are choosing to bring a baby into this world gives you enough knowledge and credibility to make the choices with conviction that you inevitably will. Trust yourself mama, you will always know the right way in the end. And know, you are not alone. 

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