A little less than three months before the baby was born I did a post called "A Baby Blog." I discussed various suggestions we had while preparing for the baby, some of the pre-baby celebrations, and some hopes I had for the future. We had, overall, a really great birth experience, which I documented in the "Birth Story" post, so I won't revisit that here. Instead, now that our son is over three months old, I want to document some of the specific items that have been most helpful to us in these first months of his life and our adjustment to all things parenthood. This will serve to remind me of these things later on, but I'd also like to be able to offer these suggestions to others who may be looking for suggestions in the future for themselves or for gifts. We are planning to do a bit of a remodel on Cohen's room, so I'll do a post about that and the items we have in there once we have that done! I've sourced all of these items from Amazon* because it's so convenient to ship it to the door or add it to an online registry.
1) Twelve Hours' Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old by Suzy Giordano
Our number one concern/prayer/planning focus before the baby was born was in regard to SLEEP. We both like to sleep (me even more than Wade), and we both know how important it is to our well-being to get as much sleep as possible. So, we asked, we read, and we talked about sleep a lot before our baby made his debut. The very best resource we found was this book by Suzy Giordano. It's short, well laid out, and it gives an overview not just for sleeping but for eating and awake time activity as well, for the first three months. Now, in real life there are always small adaptations or concessions, but by consistently following this guide, we have found that we have been able to be better attuned to our sons wants and needs regarding schedule, sleep, and eating. It's really worked for us, and I recommend it as a must read to all new parents.
2) Fisher-Price Baby's Bouncer
geo meadow baby bouncer, and she wasn't wrong. Our baby has loved this thing since his first days at home, though, he needed some neck support to sit in it for awhile. Like all baby products it needs to be used according to the instructions, under supervision, etc., but it's a really great place to put the baby down. I think he likes it because he can see the world, be entertained (now) by the toy bar, and even drift off in it before we move him for a nap. We don't use the vibrating feature because it is not recommended in Giordano's book, but I'm not sure he would have liked that much anyway. We have also affectionally nicknamed it his "pooping chair," because as his pediatrician explained, it is hard to poop laying down! So this chair really helps things get moving through him after some yummy milk.
3) RaZbaby JollyPop Baby Pacifier
These pacifiers are really wonderful for appeasement, particularly before feeding or bedtime. We were given one of these in the hospital with the recommendation to wait until the baby was about two or three weeks old to give it to him to insure a good nursing latch. We did wait a couple weeks, but once we gave him this pacifier, he loved it. He hasn't been a fan of any other kinds, but he's always taken well to these. He never had any latching issues, either, so I think they are good to use once the latch is established. He had been using our fingers as soothers before this, so we were all glad that he took to the pacifier so well! He uses it primarily during the day now as he seems much more interested in sucking his thumb before bedtime.
4) Boppy Original Nursing Pillow
Boppy pillows. They seemed all the rage at baby showers and in every nursery. I was a bit on the fence about requesting one because I don't like a lot of clutter, so I thought it might just sit around taking up space. I did get one, though, and I love it. As I alluded to, breastfeeding came pretty easy to the little, which was so helpful to me. That being said, I've used this Boppy pillow in the hospital and everyday (multiple times) since. I've brought it with me in the car and to Chicago. I can nurse him without it, but it just makes everything so much easier (and nicer on my back and neck), so why stop using it? I am nervous about him getting too long to be comfortable on it, but we'll address that as it happens. The covers are easy to switch and wash, which I also like. I do also like the Boppy lounger that we were given. Babies shouldn't sleep in it, but it is a comfy, safe place to set them down.
5) Moby Wrap & Ergo Carrier
Moby Wrap and an Ergo Carrier. Now, we really liked both carriers for the first couple months, but we seem to have hit kind of an in-between spot in using them. I used the Moby in restaurants and at church quite a bit when the baby was really little-- like one to two months. We also used the Ergo for walks and soothing up until about that point as well; however, he seems to have outgrown the infant holds (he's a long boy!), but since he can't hold his head up yet, we haven't been able to transition to the other holds. As is, he just gets cranky or uncomfortable because he doesn't quite fit in the carriers right now. That being said, we did really like using them for him as an infant, and I think we will like them again soon, as soon as he is able to hold is head up and be stable in the alternate holds. We also have a Milk Snob Nursing Cover that I've used both on his carseat in the warmer weather and to nurse him.
6) Infantino Go Gaga Infant to Toddler Play Gym
baby play teepee. Again, I was a bit hesitant to have something set up that takes up so much space, but it is a very fun little area for the baby to kick and explore. For this teepee in particular, there is a mirror where he can see himself, as well as some fun music from the hanging owl. Otherwise, he can watch the animals swirl around and will eventually be able to touch and tug on them. Like our Summer Infant Clean Baby Bather, it's hard to know what item is right from the myriad of options available. We chose the teepee (and bather) from suggestions from friends, and I think that is often the best way to go! Our friends have the teepee for their baby girl, and they called it "the best babysitter!" and I think they were right!
7) Halo & Zen Sack Sleepers
For having done quite a bit of research and reading about sleep before the baby came, we didn't have much of a plan for what the baby would sleep in. We knew we couldn't do blankets and would definitely follow the "back is best" campaign, but I guess we figured we would just figure out what to put him in once we came, and we did! The first night in the hospital we tried swaddling him, but we couldn't get the blankets tight enough without a nurse helping us. But then I saw the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle in a drawer and thought we should try that, and it worked like a charm! So easy to use and take a part and do back up when we needed to change him. Before we left the hospital we asked the nurse if we could have another one, so she snuck it into our going away bag. We ordered a size up once he started to grow, but soon he found his thumb, so we didn't want to swaddle both arms so that he could self soothe. Once we had transitioned to having two arms out of the swaddle we switched over the to Nested Bean Zen Sack, and that has also been awesome. I think the weighted beans are very soothing and comforting throughout the night, and it seems to provide the right amount of warmth with a full onesie underneath. I anticipate us using the Zen Sack for a good while. We use Dreft baby detergent to launder all of his clothes, and I really like it. He has had baby eczema on his face for a few months, so we've started using Eucerin cream for that, but he hasn't had any problems on his body, and I think the Dreft helps with that.
8) Comotomo Baby Bottles
Like the pacifier, Cohen has done well taking a bottle from the beginning. Like most of these items, someone recommended the Comotomo Baby Bottles to us, and they are great! The nipples are soft and they are easy to use and then run through the dishwasher. Again, we were told to wait on introducing a bottle to avoid nipple confusion, so we didn't give Cohen a bottle until he was about four weeks old. When we did, I left the house, as some online articles had warned that even being in the house could confuse him a bit, as he could smell the real milk. So, I took Lacy for a walk while Wade heated up the milk and gave him his first bottle! He took it great and drank the whole thing. We only use a bottle intermittently, as I work from home, but it has never been a problem having him take one or switching between them. I do think these bottles helped that transition! We use this Munchkin High Capacity Drying Rack to dry out the bottles, as well as pacifiers, pump equipment, etc.
9) SmartNoggin Rattle
One of the more random things that the baby really loves is this SmartNoggin Rattle. I believe that I first saw the rattle listed on some kind of list of developmental toys for infants, but I cannot find that list anywhere. That being said, I added this rattle to our registry, and it is the toy that the baby is by far the most interested in so far. It rattles, it lights up, and it has a good counter weight that he can hold it in his little hand. It's great for helping him develop eyesight tracking, and he is often mesmerized by the changing lights. There is also a little mirror on the bottom, but he hasn't been as interested in that yet. We use this toy to encourage him to roll over, and it's a great way to entertain him if he's getting a little fussy. We've also gotten out his Sophie the Giraffe toy, but he's much more interested in the rattle at this point... although, Sophie is very cute.
10) Evenflo Carseat & Stroller
One of the only required baby items that you need to have leaving the hospital is a good carseat. It obviously makes sense, and we also wanted to make sure the carseat was not only safe for the baby but worked well for us. We did some online and in person looking and researching, and we eventually decided upon this Evenflo car seat and stroller combo. Now, I really don't know if this is the very best out there because it is the only set we've tried, but we have liked it, and it has already given us flexibility as the baby has grown. We have two bases-- one in each car-- and then we keep the stroller ready to go. Both the stroller and the car seat took a bit of a learning curve to figure out how to work, but we have figured them out. The one struggle I was having was trying to figure out how to keep the baby warm enough in the carseat while not creating any extra layers. A friend suggested this JJ Cole car seat cover, and it is so great. So much easier to keep the baby warm getting in and out of the car.
It's hard to imagine that such a tiny person needs so much stuff before they are even walking or eating solid foods! Of course, this is also all in addition to the myriads of clothes, books, blankets, toys, and decor. We're even storing several items like, a snowsuit, high chair, activity center, and pack-n-play that we haven't even used yet! It's all worth it to have such a sweet little person in our home, but it does make me consider the moms of one or two hundred years ago who had a rocking chair and a blanket for their baby. Ah, well, here we are. Happy baby shopping!
*All opinions are my own and come from personal use. Some affiliate links are included.
Sunday, 12 January 2020
Tuesday, 7 January 2020
So excited to share that my article, "Food Memoirs: Agency in Public and Private Rhetorical Domains," about Diana Abu-Jaber's memoir, The Language of Baklava, and feminist rhetorical domains is out! Check out the latest issue of Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric & Composition if you'd like to read it.