Thursday, September 23, 2010

9 things I love...

Another mom blogger posted a list this week about "9 Things I Love- a New Mom List". It got me thinking... I would like to do the same. So, if you're looking for a "perfect gift" for another new mom, here are my recommendations (in no particular order):

#1: Cloth Diapering: I know , I know. You're probably thinking... cloth diapering? Yuck. But the truth is, it's awesome. It's cheap. It's good for the environment. When we first got pregnant, we knew we would cloth diaper. Of course, we weren't planning on birthing a two pounder, whose first diapers weren't much bigger than a panty liner. But, we always looked forward to the day when Bea got big enough to wrap her tiny behind in cloth! When she first came home, she was (still) too tiny ; but within a month... BINGO! She hit the 6 pound recommendation and we were off. To understand the basics of cloth diapering, Casey and I went to a tutorial at The Diapering Doula. We first used a diaper service, where we just shoved all the dirties into a "wet bag" (which should be named the stink bag) and once a week, the dirties were exchanged for cleaner ones. Then, our service ran out and we started thinking about the (cost) benefits of washing our own diapers. Luckily, the same week our service ended, Karissa (the Diapering Doula) had a consignment sale of "service pre-loved" diapers for a quarter each. For about $14 I was able to get all the cloth diapers Bea will need until she's toilet trained. See, I told you... Cloth Diapering is cheap! It also has prevented ZERO diaper rash! One other benefit to cloth... the cute covers and giant tush (see below).
Tiny Badonkadonk

#2: Tiny Love mobile mobile: Beatrice Kate has never been a baby who loves car rides. Often I hear other new mothers say "Oh, I just put little Johnny in his carseat and drive around and he goes straight to sleep". This is so not the case for Bea. In fact, as I mentioned before, she hate car rides. This isn't too bad of a problem when Casey and I are together with her in a car. I usually sit in the back and try to entertain her with toys, milk, etc.  But, as you know, our house is on the market and since I can't leave her here when we have showings during the day... we all (the dogs, Bea and I) pile into the car like gypsies and drive around Raleigh. To combat the 100% chance Bea will have an extreme meltdown for the entire hour we're driving; I bought this, the Clip & Go Musical Mobile. It clips to her car seat's handle and has two settings. One side features black and white images for use while she's younger and on the flip side are dangling insects (which velcro down when not in use) to catch her attention when she's a bit older. It also has a "mute" mode where it will just spin the objects without music (You can only hear the same Mozart song so many times). This thing is like baby Prozac. Usually, as soon as it's switched on she immediately goes quiet. Even at my post-pardum check-up at the Ob-Gyn's office, she was happy as a clam waiting on me.

#3: The Miracle Blanket: This. Thing. Is. Amazing. We have 3 and would have 15 if they weren't $30 each (though, their worth every penny). It's a swaddler spin-off from Dr. Harvey Karp's "Happiest Baby on the Block" 5-S suggestion (swaddle, side or stomach, shush, swing, suck) to calm a colicky baby. Essentially, it's a baby straight jacket, that traps baby's arms down and helps swaddle them tightly. Bea can't sleep at night without it.She's starting to outgrow it (Her little Baby Hulk legs ripped the side out of one the other night) and we're starting to get itchy thinking about the sleepless nights ahead when she no longer fits in one.

#4: Fisher Price Nature's Touch Cradle Swing: We inherited this swing from our dear friends, The Melameds and their triplets and feel like we might as well have been given gold. What makes this swing so amazing is that it can swing front to back and side-to-side. You can also raise and lower the angle of the seat. So, if you're baby is a refluxer (who does that sound like?), you can let them sit up a little more. When Bea was smaller, and her reflux was at a peak, we would put her to sleep (what little she slept) in this swing and crank it up. She loved it. The more violent the swinging, the happier she was. Now, she's getting bigger (and subsequently, heavier) we're seeing the only drawback to this particular model- battery operation. We're going through about a pack of D batteries a week and those babies don't come cheap.

#5: Buy Buy Baby:  I love this store not only because I hate Babies R Us with a fiery vengeance, but because it really is that awesome. The staff is incredibly friendly and always available for help. The store is laid out in a very common sense way. Stuff is easy to find, and it's neatly organized. You can't catch a staph infection like you can at Babies R Us. It's very clean.The registry people were so incredibly helpful and they'll even assign you a "personal shopper" to help identify what items you should put on your registry. Oh, and their "thank you for registering with us" gift was incredible. It had all kinds of goodies and samples. Babies R Us only gives you MRSA a crap box of useless coupons and one Huggies diaper.

#6: Aiden and Anais Swaddle Blankets: I've already mentioned how Beatrice Kate prefers to sleep in lock down at night; but I feel like I will give her rotator cuffs permanent damage if I keep her in the Miracle all day too. However, she can't sleep period, not even to nap, if she's not swaddled (those darn hands of hers are just too interesting). I had been using the Kiddopotomus velco swaddlers for a while, but Baby Hulk is easily able to bust out of them. When she was tiny, I could easily swaddle her in a thermal knit blanket we have, like they did in the NICU, and she had a harder time escaping (don't ask me why). But, alas, she is no longer the size of a deck of cards, so blankets weren't an option. Luckily, our friends The Shores, who have twins girls, gave us their A+A Swaddles and they are great! They're nearly 3 x 3 ft so they're plenty big enough and they're made of muslin, which is just stretchy enough to give Bea little wiggle room, but still allowing for a really tight, secure swaddle. They're also light weight so she doesn't sweat to death, and we can use it as a light blanket, nursing shawl, etc.

#7: Boudreaux's Butt Paste: Funny name, serious stuff. I've already said how cloth diapering results in no diaper rash, but I neglected to say that another reason for this is Butt Paste (diaper rash cream). We never leave home without it! It's more expensive than the traditional, old school creams like A+D Ointment or Desitin Creme but this stuff is great, and you can use it with cloth diapers (at least, we've never had a problem with it washing out). It also has a nice scent that is decidedly "baby" smelling- so pleasant.

#8: Moby Wrap: Oh, Moby Wrap, how I love thee. Where do I begin with my love for this thing? It's 100% cloth, so it doesn't have any pesky straps or irritating buckles. Just a giant, long piece of stretchy fabric that you tie and fold in various ways to create a variety of options for carrying your baby. You can snuggle Baby in close, face them outwards so they can see the world, nurse in it, do Kangaroo Care in it and more! Also because it's fabric, you can put it on when you leave the house and leave it on when you drive to various locations. This is great because I've spent a lot of time in parking lots across Wake County trying to get Bea into various baby carriers (we have a lot) and we both end up frustrated and sweaty in the end. With the Moby, I just hop out of the driver's seat, slip her into the wrap and we're off! It carries children up to 35 lbs, so we've got a while to go before she grows out of it (and is hopefully walking around by then!).

#9: Anything by Betsy B: Who is Betsy B? She's this lady:
A Totally Hip Grandma
She's Bea's Grandma (Casey's mom) and she's a whiz at making stuff. Think I'm kidding? So far, since Bea's been born, she's made several hats, 3-4 dresses, pants, one of a kind onesies, my diaper bag (yea, for real), oh and just about everything in Bea's nursery. Literally, everything. Drapes, play quilts, crib bumpers and skirt, toy boxes, decorations, pillows. See:
That's a lot of sewing

You name it, she can make it. She's a great person to know if you are looking for a really unique, special gift or if, you know... you have her grandchild.

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