Saturday, 29 September 2012

Getting ready for baby.

Here's my list of baby essentials for our little family. This includes the tried and true's and some new things we're giving a go this time around. I mostly wrote this little post for my benefit to reassure my anxious mind that we're really close to being ready! See, Tania? Now go to sleep.
Mila, 2 days old

  •  A few months ago I stocked up on new camisoles and nursing bras (my favorites are from Cake Lingerie and Hotmilk, and they usually pop up on zulily). I'm really not big on specific 'nursing' shirts. They're usually layered and therefore hot and often awkward. Instead, just lift up your pullover shirt, pull down your stretchy camisole, and you're done. Baby eats and if he/she pops off unexpectedly the shirt naturally falls back down. My midwife tried to explain the whole shirt/camisole concept to me before I had Mila but I never really *got* it until I actually started nursing. Now nothing makes more sense.
  •  I love and stand by my Medela Freestyle pump as one of the best ones out there, no complaints here. I also recommend renting a hospital-grade pump (like the Medela Symphony) if you're trying to increase output. Those things are workhorses! 
  • My Brest Friend nursing pillow. Stupid name. But it was a lifesaver when Wugs and I were both figuring out how to breastfeed and I'll likely haul it out for this baby--I'm so used to nursing a toddler at this point that I think I'll need the extra support My Brest Friend provides with a tiny person! We have 2 covers for them since they inevitably get pee/poop/vomit from time to time. 
  • Lansinoh nipple cream. A must! It'll be your saving grace. 
  • My 1.5 liter Sigg water bottle since the second you begin a nursing session you'll feel like you've been walking 28 miles in the desert with no water in sight. It happens every single time to me.

  • Blooming Bath. Before Mila was born Steve installed a huge sink in the house we were living in, mostly with the intent on making infant bathtime easier. And it did--great idea, husband. But that's not an option where we're living now so I'm trying out the Blooming Bath. We'll see if this stays on our list after we start using it. p.s. I jumped on this when I saw it on sale at zulily!
  • I would love to have the wherewithall and time to knit up some of these log cabin washcloths from The Purl Bee but for now it's on the backburner. Bought the yarn for it and am optimistic that I'll at least have time to make a couple (yet realistic that this may not happen as I still have unfinished knitting projects).
  • Mila's hooded towel is from Tess and Tallulah and I love it. Very soft and absorbent. We'll be getting one for this babe as well.

  • We'll use disposables until baby weighs enough to fit the BumGenius 4.0 One-Size that Mila uses. And since we'll probably still have two in diapers by then, we'll likely be buying more BG's. My favorite wipes are Mustela but we also use Huggies Natural Care and Seventh Generation.
  • I'll hopefully have enough time to sew up some flannel wipes one of these evenings. Cloth wipes from Lusa Organics that I've been using since Mila was a baby are still holding up beautifully, too. And there's always hemp washies from Happy Heinys.
  • I used to buy diaper wipe solution from Lusa Organics (I still use their booty balm on Mila every night before bed), but now I just make my own. Cheaper and fun to play around with different essential oils.
  • Speaking of booty balm, booty balm! I spread a little on Mila after bathtime to wick away moisture from nighttime pees. Maybe I'm just lucky, but she's never woken up because of pee irritation (she's woken up for a multitude of other reasons, yes, but never that).  
  • We just have a changing pad set up on top of our dresser. No changing table.
  • We finally bought a BumGenius diaper sprayer to attach to our toilet's piping and I still get a thrill using it. Sad that this is what excites me nowadays, but the toilet dunking and bucket soaking that explosive poo diapers entail...gets old.
  • Rockin' Green laundry detergent for the cloth dipes.
  • Two wet bags. Two. Because at some point while your diapers are washing and drying, baby will poop. Every time. They know. 
  • We had/have an ergo, Maya wrap, and Sakura Bloom ring slings with Mila, but I'd like to be braver this time and try woven wraps. I bought a Girasol woven wrap from Risaroo and cannot wait to get it...if it's half as beautiful as it looks online then I'm in for a treat. Marmee also made me a gorgeous ring sling from an ivory dupioni silk wrap I had bought for our wedding; I bought the aluminum rings here.
  • A birthing ball! It sounds weird but Mila was bounced to sleep while in my arms many, many times in the beginning when nothing else worked. Plus, they're awesome to use in pregnancy and labor as well.
  •  The Miracle Blanket. With Mila we used this to the point of a large hole developing in one of the seams so we bought a new one this time around. It's the only swaddle that truly worked and I swear by it. It is awesome.
  • Aden and Anais bamboo swaddlers: love love LOVE these. Not necessarily for swaddling (see above), but just as an all-purpose, softest-in-the-world blankie/cover/throw.  We don't need to buy new ones since ours from Mila are still in great condition, and that's after a ton of use. Plus I love the neutral patterns of ours (see a pic of just-home-from-the-hospital Mila swaddled in one here)--I'm not as crazy about the gender-specific boy/girl ones Aden and Anais makes.
  • A sound machine. We're on our 3rd one (we just use a plain Homedics one set to ocean waves, nothing strictly 'baby' about it) but jeez do we get panicky and jittery when they stop working. When we travel we've got ocean sounds downloaded onto our computer from itunes so we're never without.  
  • I've got it bad for Bloom's Alma mini crib but am holding off for now since we're only going to be living in our current place for a couple months into this little babe's new life. So in the beginning we're going to combination co-sleep with having him or her in the raised bassinet of our Chicco pack 'n play, next to our bed.
  • I'm knitting a special blanket for this baby, just as I did with Mila. Working fast and furiously to get it done in time! Pictures to follow, hopefully.
  • I've bought such a small amount of clothing so far...a couple sweet sleeper gowns and that's it (I love sleeper gowns at nighttime! I know some people hate on 'em but they worked great for me). When it comes to clothes I've been super relaxed this time. For one thing I know I'm all set if we do have another girl. I saved all of Mila's newborn/0-3 month clothes. And I also feel like your basic white onesie is all you need in those first few weeks. Why would you want to upstage that sweet, old-man wrinkly perfect face? Save the fashionista stuff for when they get all chubbed up, gummy and smiley...that's when dressing gets fun (and more fun still when they start walking!). 
  • For Mila I had a lil' stash of homemade knitted hats and still do. Hats that work for either or specific genders. Being that this baby is being born in northern California...I think we'll put them to good use. 
  • We just have to reinstall the Chicco KeyFit 30 carseat that we used with Mila until she was one, when she graduated to the Britax Boulevard. Done and done. Two carseats back there! Wow!
For Mama
  • New Mama Bottom Spray by Earth Mama Angel Baby.
  • This sounds random but trust me, you'll need dry shampoo as a new mama. I don't care for the powder ones, but really like this. Maybe you will be able to shower once a day, but will you have the time to spend on your hair? No. I've tried a few and this one is my favorite. 

      • I consigned the activity mat we had gotten for Mila and am looking for a new one. Are there any that aren't hideous? 
      •  Bouncy seat. I remember not getting one initially for Wugs and then a few weeks after having the baby a much wiser friend of mine dragged me out to a consignment store so I could try them out. I have to admit, it made things a lot easier. Mila was not such a fan of babywearing initially so to be able to set her down even if it was just for a quick pee was nice.
      • A couple small sheepskin rugs just make everything cozier and more comfy for baby--anywhere from the diapering area to throwing one on the floor for tummy time. Speaking of tummy time...
      • Before Mila was born we bought this stand-up mirror from IKEA and it proved to be an awesome way to get her to enjoy being on her belly. Of course, when she started pulling up to stand it became a little hazardous, so we put it away for a few months. 
      • I highly recommend the DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block (available on netflix). True, there's a book, but this sums it up much faster--plus if you watch with your husband you can both be on the same page with the 5 S's. I just added it to our queue as a little refresher course :)
      • I wasn't planning on getting more burp cloths since we barely used them with Mila (she spit up very little--we were lucky!), but then I spotted these lovelies tonight! May just have to stay up late making them one night.
      •  A glider. I'm currently stalking craigslist. I was dumb before Mila was born and refused to give into the glider because--wait for it--I didn't want the baby to rely on rocking to get to sleep. See? Dumb!! Now I know that one of the greatest joys in life is rocking your baby to sleep, and besides, if you're nursing they're inevitably going to fall asleep that way (which is, I found out, no bigs either as Mila just naturally outgrew that--and I missed it when she did!)
      • A topponcino. Do I get it? Not get it? Not necessary? Or could it be one of those things that ends up being a gift from God in its simple ingenuity? I'm still mulling it over.
      • A swing. This is another thing I held off buying for Wugs because damnit, they're ugly and take up a lot of space. But then in desperation one day when we just couldn't get our sweet nugget calm, I shooed Steve off to Target with orders to not come back without a swing. That one is in my parents' garage in Florida so it looks like we'll be buying yet another ugly swing. Ugly, but another saving grace. 
      • A new mobile. I have more mobiles than anyone would ever need (there's just so many beautiful ones out there (cough) etsy (cough), but I'm still planning on a homemade one for this baby.  Waiting on one more thing before it's officially done, then I'll share.

      ...and that about covers it, I think. No double stroller for us. Wugs hated her stroller until she was well past one so I'm not crossing that bridge just yet. We use the stroller so sporadically as it is, I figure we'll continue to put Mila in it and I'll just wear the baby for now. We'll figure it out. If anything, I know now that you don't have to have everything perfectly in place before the baby arrives. It's a wait and see thing as you figure out what does and doesn't work for your lifestyle. I think with Mila I panicked and thought that I would be a brainless pile of mush after having her and that I wouldn't have time/energy/brainpower to get what I needed. Now I know that in the beginning it actually can be pretty simple...if you let it. All that other stuff will come. Eventually. Or you'll have a really wonderful husband who can pick up where you leave off, like I do.


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