April 19, 2011

Growing into Baby Gear 0-3 months

As Baby grows, I'm growing into the associated Mommy and Baby gear...and there seems to be a boundless sea of options of cute or practical and sometimes cute AND practical items. Here's a list in no particular order of items I found especially useful in the first three months of Baby's life. This list doesn't include basics like a pack and play, swing, pacifiers, and nasal aspirators...but those were extremely useful. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. This is just what worked for me.

Swaddle Blankets by Aden + Anais 

mela bamboo swaddles
Mela Bamboo Muslin Swaddle Blankets
I am a fan of the line in general, but my personal favorites are the Bamboo Muslin Swaddle Blankets that were a collaborative effort with New York based, Masala Baby. I have the Mela set for two reasons - I will bleed orange and blue (Go Illini!) and really liked the bold peacock feather pattern and block prints. They have been useful for everything including a burp cloth, nursing cover, blanket to air out baby girl parts while fending off diaper rash, travel blanket, tummy time mat, and diaper changing pad in a pinch...I think I could also use it as a beach cover up for her since it dries so quickly. If you're planning to use them as Baby grows, think about Swaddle Plus blankets. They are a bit larger and will allow you to swaddle Baby for much longer than the little guys.

Classic Sleepy Wrap

Great for Tummy Time too!
I received this as a gift and was not entirely sure how to use it at first, but it came with an instructional dvd as well as easy to follow directions on line. It also helped that a friend of mine is a leader for a local baby wearing group and was gracious enough to give me a lesson. I was nervous Baby would fall out or get her foot stuck somewhere, but after practicing (over the bed) once or twice I was good to go. It was instrumental in getting Baby to sleep when she was fussy. It helped Baby get close to my heart and drift off to sleep. It was like magic. Now that I know how to tie it properly and ensure the straps are wide enough to distribute Baby's weight, I use it all the time. It washes well, makes traveling easy and gives your arms a bit of a break. The wrap is intended to help Baby sleep for 0-3 months, after that the peeps at Sleepy Wrap encourage you to use it for transportation only.

Burp Cloths - Aden + Anais
mod about baby burpy bib
Let's face it, babies spit up. A LOT. Once again, the folks at Aden + Anais make handy burp cloths that are curved so they fit nicely over your shoulder or can double as a nursing pad at night. There's one that is also a bib. The Burpy Bib that has little snaps to convert from burp cloth to bib. I only have a few of these, the bulk of spit ups are covered by standard old burp cloths/cloth diapers. They're inexpensive, they're super handy and did I say inexpensive? 

Woodward's Gripe Water 

Woodward's Gripe Water is
popular in Europe and India
This stuff works miracles. The original used to contain alcohol, dill seed and sodium bicarbonate and possibly sucrose (sugar). Since then they've removed the alcohol and sugar but kept tummy soothing and digestion aiding spices/herbs. I was lucky that Baby did not have colic, but was rather just gassy from time to time. I also found it useful while she's been teething and starting first foods. She's like a whole new person after she has a drop of her gripe water. We use it sparingly when nothing else seems to work since Husband was not a huge fan at first. Now it's his go to soother in the event Baby is "inconsolable" which seemed to happen every time he watched her from birth to three months. I say she just missed her mommy, but that's a story for another day. You can find this at most Indian grocery stores, on line through Amazon and possibly at Asian and European markets. 
Natural / Short Liner - Click Image to Close

I had an emergency C-Section so I couldn't go up and down stairs for 6-8 weeks. The co-sleeper was instrumental in caring for Baby. Keeping Baby at arm's length was fantastic for night time feedings (especially when they were every two hours).  She was was so small and seemed so fragile at 7 lbs and 2 ounces, it was nice to keep her close but not in danger of crushing her in my sleep. While you're visiting their site, check out their pet co-sleepers for your four legged babies.

Reusable Nursing Pads by Itzy Ritzy
Glitzy Gals™ Washable Nursing Pads in NaturalI recommend two packs of 3 pairs - totaling 6 pairs to have in rotation. It is wise to double up at night or to use a cloth diaper/burp cloth. I would also encourage a lingerie mesh bag to keep track of them in the wash. They're not big and tend to get lost among the onesies, blankets, and assorted baby clothes. They are available in patterns and natural. Very important for preventing leaks. Let me repeat. VERY important for preventing leaks. I am not sure if I'm a super producer or what, but when my milk came in, it needed to go out and didn't always wait for Baby to latch on. You could DIY if you sew with fabric scraps and cotton batting as Little Lizard King did or take Husband's old 100% cotton t-shirts that need to be retired before Baby can read and cut them up into circles and layer together for a double duty project. There are a variety of disposable pads - Johnson and Johnson's are my favorite. They're virtually leak proof while Medela's disposable pads - not so much.

April 4, 2011

Making Room for Baby in the Kitchen!?!??!

Over the door canvas organizer available at Target

Husband and I have a lot of stuff. Then along came Baby so our stuff exponentially multiplied. I keep trying to go through and recycle, donate, and toss (as much as I don't like to throw things away) in spurts. Now that Baby's eating solid foods, we added utensils, food storage and baby food to her bottles, milk storage and more milk storage supplies. This meant the dog and cat treats and meds had to move..along with plastic bags and wipes and sun screens and you get the point.

Anyways, in my quest to make room for Baby in our kitchen, I decided to contain it in a 'pretty' way or at the very least fun and functional way.  The door into our kitchen lines up with our basement door so I thought this would be a good out of the way place to start to stow all those things that we need, but don't need in the kitchen and don't have space for anywhere else.

This was probably the easiest project I've tackled in a while. I printed out a bunch of categories on 4" circle labels from Paper Source and then cut out rectangles from my favorite colorful Harney and Sons and Paper Source catalogs.  I used bulldog clips that I had a stockpile of because of my obsession with office supplies. Here's a partial list of categories I used:

I used circle labels and cut up catalog pages as backgrounds
Dog Meds
Cat Meds
Dog Treats
Cat Treats
Husband Sunglasses
EB Sunglasses
Husband Hat/Gloves
EB Hat/Gloves
Freezer Bags
Storage Bags
Plastic Bags
Hand Sanitizer
Snacks (on the go!)
Citronella Candles

For those of you who require more flexibility and like uniformity, you could cut up decorative paper to use as backgrounds for labels made out of index cards. Then you could switch them up whenever you wanted.  For the Green Mom, take scraps of wrapping paper and attach to cardboard/carton/milk jug pieces. Large paper clips and clothes pins might work too, but I like the clips. We'll see if I feel the same way once Baby starts walking.

As always, thoughts welcome!