Thursday, July 29, 2010

TENS::Top 10 Items to Put on a Baby Registry

A friend asked for advice on the top 10 best baby items that I might put upon a registry.  A post shall follow, hopefully soon, of 10 other things you might as well register for as they are fun/nice to have, but not what I'd rate in the necessary (or I can't imagine mamahood without) ranks.

So here goes.

*Please note these aren't in any particular sort of order.  Also note the last ones are for mamas who go with breastfeeding, cloth diapering, making your own baby food, etc., and therefore, only apply to certain cases.

#1 Moby Wrap
This has been a Godsend for my back, especially.  We tried the Dr. Sears style sling at first, and I liked it during the tiny months, but as soon as Dom was big enough, I felt he was going to tip out, and I ended up holding him in the whole time, which defeated the purpose.  The Baby Bjorn carried KILLED my shoulders; they just ached all the time.  The Moby, however, still is super comfy and is flexible to carry the baby in many ways.
I have also heard great reviews of the Ergo and the Beco carriers.

#2 Baby Swing
It can be as simple or as complex as you want, but as far as soothing goes, it's amazing.  I'd suggest one of the ones that is not right next to the floor.  If you don't get it via a Baby Registry, they're pretty easy to find on Craigslist or at a Yard Sale.  As sweet and adorable as your little newborn shall be, I promise at some point, you'll want to have a rest.

#3 Booster Seat
This is one of those looking ahead things.  Before you know it, you're baby will be eating food, and as an alternative to a high chair, which I am sure works splendidly, too, we've found a booster seat to be great.  It fits right into our regular dining chairs, is very easy to clean, and will probably fit Dominic until he's 1.5 - 2 years old.  Sitting is a must for this one.

#4 Infant Bouncer Seat
Do you think you'll want to shower in the first three months of baby's life?  Then I'd suggest getting one of these.  Honestly, this was usually the only time I could squeeze in some me time when Dom was really little.  He didn't nap long enough, and I was paranoid that if I left him outside the bathroom, I wouldn't be able to hear him.  So, instead, into the bathroom came baby seat, Dom, and I, but it ended in me getting showers, so all was well.

#5 Onesies (especially the snap-over kind!)
You can't get enough of these.  Make sure to register for bigger sizes- babies grow like weeds!  They go through tons in the beginning due to spit up and diaper leakage, so don't be afraid to register for a bunch.  We found Gerber brand to run smaller, Carter to run medium-ish and to hold up well, Old Navy the same, and Target's Circo to run a little big, but definitely worth your money.

#6 Boppy
There's a reason this has been ranked one of the Top Baby Items for many years running in magazines like Parents and BabyTalk.  I didn't use it for nursing that much, but as far as a prop for Dom's head at two months, a way to get him to have tummy time at four months, and a safety guard for sitting practice at six months, it has been a well used item.

#7 Forehead Thermometer 
Thermometers keep getting more and more fancy with time (doesn't all baby stuff?  just ask your grandmother and mother...)  Anyhoo, this one is a well worth it advancement.  To take a baby/child/adult's temp, all you have to do is place it the end on forehead and run it down the side of said person's face. Ta-da!  No sticking it up a butt, no holding it under a tongue, no holding their arm down over it, and no making sure it has a clean cover, so you can stick it in their ear.

#8 Bundle Me/Floppy Hats
Yes, there are two here to go with whatever season your baby shall be born into.  Also, these are the only super specific brands that I'd recommend- Hanna Andersson although pricy makes fantastic stuff that holds up great.  We have two of these hats and Dom wears them pretty much every time we walk out of the house.
I've seen other car seat and stroller cover ups, and I've never been sorry that we went with the JJ Cole Bundle Me- it was the fuzziest, warmest thing, and in Rochester's oh-so-blustery winters, it was Perfect! Even my husband agrees it was one of the top ten things we've used.

#9 Co-Sleeper
This is one of those "depends-on-you" type of things.  We knew we were planning on having the baby room in with us for the first few months of his or her life, and so we got this.  It hooks right up to the edge of your bed.  This worked out great, and we used it for about four to five months (until I thought Dom could get out of it).  We could get some sleep and not worry about whether or not Dom was breathing, and I could easily nurse him in the middle of the night, and then return him to the Sleeper.
Note that if you have a tall bed, you might need to get the extension legs.  We did.

#10 Breast Pump
Another of those "can be simple or not" ones, this is a must for breastfeeding moms who might need a break at some point.  Whether it be so they can go back to work, so car rides can go for more than 1.5 hours without a stop in the middle, or so Dad gets a chance to feed baby every now and then, these are one to add to the list.  I have a electric/battery operated one that has worked great for me, but try to take in to consideration how much you think you'll be using it, and register/buy accordingly.  Also this is Not an item you want to get used, unless it's from a friend you know well.  Breast Pumps cannot be thoroughly cleaned, so diseases like HIV and Hepatitis can be spread- not worth it!!!

Please Note: As much as I love cloth diapering, unless you've had practice on a baby and you've been able to deduce which cloth diaper system works the best for you, I wouldn't add 24 cloth diapers to your registry until you try a few.

Also, it never fails to have MANY blankets, washcloths, wipes, etc, so ADD them to your Registry!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

orange food and cereal puffs.

I am tired and working for the first time tomorrow since Dom was born, so tonight only pictures.

whoops.  3 orange things.  way to create some color variety, mom. 

and HA, caught red handed.  and like a good mother, I take a picture (after, of course, making sure he was in no danger).

one of his favorite activities, pulling the chairs around the room.

and Mr. Determination tackles his puffs (banana flavored Os sweetened with a little apple juice- they're not so bad... I tried a few to make sure they didn't taste too gross).

and last, but not least, another new favorite toy- this was only after he unrolled 
all the paper towels for me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Travel, baby, travel... it is in your blood.

8 days ago began what could have been an amazing adventure or an event in which everyone around me might hate me... Dominic's first airplane ride.  And, we left the husband/daddy at home, which made it an even more adventurous First.

I am sure we were a hilarious sight as I made my way through, Moby-ed baby on front, "personal item" slung over my shoulder, pushing an umbrella stroller with a small carry-on inside.  I managed to not need to check anything under the plane except for the carseat.  The only time this really was not so fun was in between flights down to Norfolk... we arrived in Terminal C in NYC and then our connecting flight left from D.  SO we huffed it over, thinking we had a whopping 58 minutes, outside in the blazing heat (99 degrees or so AND a baby tied to me), through the taxis waiting for customers, and back into the next terminal only to find that our flight had been delayed 35 minutes or so.  Oh well, it was interesting to say the least, and I'm sure several of the taxi drivers got a chuckle out of it.

Security checks were crazy (above and beyond because I look awful suspicious).  Apparently if you take baby food in jars all sealed up and it's more than 3 oz, you are subject to a drug check automatically.  Last time I bring that along.

Screaming, irritated, and antsy baby during the WHOLE flight... thankfully, he wasn't mine.  Mine was actually quite the little doll.  All four of our flights, he sat in my lap, cooed and smiled at fellow passengers, and then curled up, nursed, and fell asleep for the duration of the flight.  ALL FOUR FLIGHTS.  Yes, I have the dream child as far as traveling goes.  I'm glad he got my traveling genes.  There were several other babies around who weren't fans of the ride.

I did have the Secret though ->  Nursing truly was the key.  I can't imagine flying with a baby who doesn't nurse/still nurse.  It helped ever so much in calming him (so much so he slept) during takeoff and apparently the pressure in his ears didn't bother him at all.  From what I've heard, nursing and the constant swallowing action prevents it all.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

airplane travels.

Can I just say that traveling with a 7 month old via airplane with a transfer halfway is making me crazy?  And I haven't even left my house yet.  Dom + I are headed south for the week to spend some time with my grandparents, who live in Norfolk, VA.  Heat and humidity, here we come!

I feel like I have gone through my checklists seventy-three times and packed and re-packed our bags once too many as well.  I figure some stuff I'll buy while down there, so I don't have to pack it (diapers, food for Dom, etc...).  And I aimed (and succeeded) at not having to check any luggage to avoid the $25 a bag check in fee.  It's $25 each way per bag, and I figured for that price I could just go buy a larger purse, if I wanted.  It turned out that I didn't even need that.  My carry-on is far smaller than is allowed, and I managed to fit all Dom's doo-dahs into an old shoulder bag I have.

So, off we go...  updates (and possibly tips learned from the trip) later.

Monday, July 5, 2010

teething biscuits.

Our newest discovered treat is Healthy Times Vanilla Teething Biscuits.  Thus far they've been quite the hit (I even tried a bit to make sure they didn't taste too disgusting!).  Mostly the boy just slobbers them good, drops it, picks up a hair or dust bunny, and slobbers it some more.  But hey, if it keeps him happy and teaches him at least one thing (teeth are for gnawing upon food?), they I'm happy.
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