Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What do you really need for a baby?

I know it can be daunting to go to baby stores & try and register for what you will need for day to day care of your baby. And I know how stressful it can be to view the items you receive at the baby showers you have and freak out thinking of all the items you still need! Since a friend was asking some questions the other day and that led a discussion on what the "important" items are, I thought I would try as best I could to list some of them for you!

A good car seat!! Of course the hospital won't let you leave without one, so this should be one of your most important & first items! Good car seats can be expensive, but since used car seats are NOT recommended (safety issues, they can expire as well) invest in a good new seat! I used an infant seat (Safety First brand) for the first few months. Some buy a convertible seat and use that from the get-go. We now have a True Fit Premier seat for Myles and the starting weight on it is 5 pounds, so if you want to save some money, go directly to the convertible!!  Just make sure the one you buy can be used with a newborn & has a long RF (rear facing) weight & height limit!!

A swaddle! Blankets work, but if you have "Houdini in Training" like Myles was at a few weeks old, I can assure you that if you plan to continue swaddling, you will be rushing all over the place trying to find the perfect swaddle. The one we finally found, and loved was The Miracle Blanket. Since I didn't feel safe leaving blankets in the crib (prior to one) I was happy when I got this since it not only kept Myles feeling secure & snug, but also warm. I will say when we stopped swaddling him (he was older then most, about 6 months due to his eczema and wanting to scratch his face) that one reason we stopped is because he was getting too long and leaving his feet free from the swaddle created issues since the swaddle could end up by his face that way.

We had Myles sleep next to us in the newborn napper part of his Graco Lowery Pack-N-Play. I advice having a cradle or bassinet or PNP to keep near your bed the first while if you don't plan to co-sleep. I know safe co-sleeping is an awesome way to go, but we only had a full size bed & not enough room when Myles was first born.

A good sling or carrier so you can baby wear! This was a lifesaver for me on Sunday mornings in church. Myles would normally fall asleep in his Hava sling (I did a review on this a few weeks back, can be found on this blog here:  Hava Review), I also recommend the Ergo carrier for when the baby is past the newborn stage. Many carriers & slings found at Babies-R-Us and chain stores can actually harm the babies hips, so do your research!

We had a Bright Starts Bouncer and Swing for Myles. We used them, but not very often. He wasn't a big "Swing"  or "Bouncer" baby.

A good stroller is a very handy item to have. I love my Bumbleride Flite that I got when Myles was a few months old. It can recline & is very light (9 pounds) and folds slim which is very helpful. I had a huge stroller that came with the car seat (travel system) and while I enjoy it for around the neighborhood on walks, I hate struggling to get it in and out of the trunk and how huge it is when it folds. Also very heavy at 21 pounds! I didn't have this stroller till he was a number of months old, but it can accommodate various brands of infant seats (like the travel systems do) so it is worth looking into that too!

Supplies that came in helpful for breastfeeding were:

Re-usable nursing pads. I used Lanisoh disposable ones at first, but the price can add up. I loved these Itzy Ritzy!

A good nipple cream like Medela or Lanisoh is very helpful. I also used Vitamin E and that worked very well for any issues with chapping or cracking in the early days.

I had a Boppy Pillow and used it all the time! I also recommend if you get the Bobby, to get some extra slipcovers.
 (photo is not of me, fyi!)

If you plan to go back to work, or ever go out and leave the baby with a sitter for more then a couple hours, I recommend a good pump. I have the Medela Pump-in-style Advanced. Great pump. Also an item to NEVER buy used! Infections can get trapped in the motor portion of the pump, so if you buy or borrow and get new tubing & sterilize everything, you are still putting yourself at risk!
Another helpful item for me was The First Years Nursing Comfort gel pads with treatment sleeves. Pretty much the only thing that helped with the pain the first few weeks!

 If you plan to pump and use bottles, I loved the Dr Browns Glass bottles. I got a 2 pack of short ones & a 2 pack of tall. Since breastfed babies don't get large amounts of milk at one time like most formula fed, you probably really only need the short at first.

Other things I can think of are the basic care items like A&D (can't be used with cloth diapers, but we used it to help heal his circumcision when he was first home from the hospital and sometimes will use overnight with a disposable if he has a bad rash). Grovia Magic Stick (cloth diaper safe rash treatment stick), Lotion, nail clippers, files for nails, bath soap/shampoo, baby tub, thermometer (love the Exergen Temporal Thermometer that we just got!), Tylenol, Gripe Water (very helpful!!). I am sure I am forgetting some things, but these items are very good to have on hand!

DIAPERS!! Wow, I almost forgot about them!! We use cloth and love them! I have a ton, most of Myles are made by WAHM (work at home mothers) and a few commercial ones (Thirsties & Bumgenius). I plan to write more later on diapers but we use cloth during the day and still do disposable at night, due to heavy night-wetting. If you cloth diaper, I use a Planet Wise wet bag to store the soiled ones in till wash day & Rockin' Green to wash them.

Books: Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr Harvey Karp, 90 Minute Sleep Program by Dr. Moore, The Baby Book by Dr Sears (I love most all books by him, he has some great ones!), Caring for your baby and young child by AAP. I have also heard the No Cry Sleep Solution is great by Elizabeth Pantley.

Most important items the baby needs: Love, His Parents, A nice calm & cozy home!

**A great resource for me Myles first year, and still.... The Breastfeeding Center. Most all the breastfeeding items (or similar ones), the swaddle, cloth diapers & supplies, awesome Aiden & Anias blankets, (did prior review on those as well) can be found there. As well as moms breastfeeding groups, classes,  and a wonderful lactation consultant/nurse who owns & runs the store!! **

Why my toddler rides rear facing

The simple answer? Well, because it is the safest way for them to ride in a car. Children's heads in proportion to their bodies are larger then the ratio of adults, their bones not fully fused and so with these facts it stands to reason that great damage could be done in a car accident. Data shows that rear facing can be up to 500% safer for children. Here are some more facts taken from http://www.carseat.se/rearfacing/safety-benefits/ : .

"500% may sound like a lot but numbers can be hard to grasp.  In 100 collisions of rear facing kids, 8 rear facing children will die or become seriously injured.  92 will walk away fine.  In 100 collisions with forward facing  kids, 40 will die or become seriously injured.  60 will walk away fine.  Those are large differences which help to save lives."

That to me is good reason to keep my child rear facing as long as possible. New AAP recommendations are for children to be kept rear facing till at least 2, but longer if possible depending on the weight & height limits of their car seat. We invested in a True Fit Premier car seat. It is possible for Myles to remain RF in that seat up till 35 pounds. The height on the seat is pretty tall too. When he outgrows the weight (he is around 25 pounds at almost 18 months, so we have a while to go), he can be turned FF and still use the seat till 65 pounds and 50" tall (which seems huge!!). I plan to use the seat as long as I can and keep him in the 5 point harness since there is also research that shows that it is safer to do so then a booster & seatbelt.

Many parents wonder if it is safe for children to rear face as they get bigger due to leg room. I hear people say that they worry if they are in an accident their child's leg might get broke if it is is having to be crossed or up against the seat due to length. There are very few (if any) cases documented of broken legs due to RF and to me I would much sooner have my child break a leg, then his neck.

A lot of people view turning their 1 year old (and 20 pound child) forward facing as a milestone & something to be excited about. I personally am nervous for the day we have to turn Myles forward facing. Even adults would be safer if we could ride rear facing. I know it will be fun when he is old enough to have him where I can look back & see him a bit more easily but for now I am happy to keep him as he is. He can still look around & doesn't seem to have any problems with being RF.

I just encourage anyone who reads this, to do their research!! Don't just turn your baby forward facing because you think it will be easier, everyone else is doing it, you have been told you can at 1 (and 20 pounds). Research and I am sure you will be keeping your son or daughter RF a bit longer!! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Myles Greggory Charles

Thought I would post a little of the story of Myles birth! The due date that was given was 08/26/10. That date came & went and my dr's suggested I get induced. I had been having a lot of tightening in my stomach for the past week or so and was 4 cm dilated the day before & pretty well effaced. I was nervous and normally wouldn't have been into the idea of an induction, but hearing the reasons given we felt like it was the right decision. So on 09/01/10 we headed to the hospital to be there at 7am. Here is a photo of me walking out the door, last time in our house without a baby. 

We get to the hospital, get in our room. Mom & Dad arrive. They hook up the epidural (I for sure wanted one once I found out I was being induced) The nurse starts the pitocin for the induction. After this it was probably around 8:30 or so. I don't fully remember. 


This picture was hard for me to post! My face looks huge!! But it was a last photo of just Paul & I so I figured I had to post it! 

Around 2 they told me to start pushing. I pushed for an hour and out came Mr. Myles!! 
He was so cute (still is!!) 

All 8#'s and 4 oz of Myles!! 
He wasn't a fan of getting his footprints. Poor little guy had also breathed in some meconium so they had to take him away quickly before getting weighed & the footprints to get that out of his nose and body. 

Getting to hold him!! 

And Paul getting to hold him as well! 

First family photo!! LOVE :) 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hava Sling Review

Babywearing is great for both mother & baby. But so many baby carriers are not made in a way that is good for the baby & the mother. Many mothers have used carriers that end up hurting their backs and many  such as most of the Baby Bjorn ones are hard on the babies hips. I wanted to make sure when wearing Myles I used one that was safe for both him & I. I bought it locally and was shown how to use it, which I think was very helpful to me. We started with a Moby which I liked, but it was time consuming to put on plus it had a stretch to the fabric so it couldn't be used as much once he got bigger. So the next one we bought was a Hava sling & I loved it. So did Myles. I wore him in church most Sundays and he was warm, cozy & snug in it and often fell asleep during the service. I will admit, I didn't babywear nearly as much as I should have. The one I got looks like this:

Which in my opinion is quite an attractive fabric!! There are many, many beautiful choices of Hava Slings. I've worn Myles in it as a toddler as well and it worked pretty well! They can be purchased locally at The Breastfeeding Center or online at http://www.havasling.com/shop-all-hava-baby-slings.aspx. There is a segment on the site of the benefits of babywearing which I recommend reading! there are many!! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Maternity Photoshoot

I am happy to have a blog up and running again and now that I do am excited to go through some photos & post a few of my favorites. If you click on the photos, they will open a bit larger.  Here are a few from our maternity photo shoot by Jessica Gaines Photography.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Aden & Anais Review

I purchased the muslin swaddle blanket when Myles was first born & love it! It worked wonderfully as a swaddle, since it is 47x47 inches. It is 100% cotton muslin and has a nice lightness to it that made it great so the baby doesn't get overheated. We used the swaddle method from Happiest Baby on the Block (by Dr. Harvey Karp) and once Myles was all swaddled up would rock & shush him till he was calm and lay him in bed to sleep. After a time, Myles turned into a little Houdini with being swaddled and it no longer worked for that purpose but still was a lovely blanket, so nice to lay out on the floor for him to lay and play on. Great for times we were outside and he needed a light wrap or to use to shield him in his stroller from bright sun. After many washes, the blanket still looks wonderful! I also had purchased one of their bamboo blankets, and love how soft it is but didn't find it to be as good for swaddling for some reason and it got a few snags on it in the wash. But still a beautiful blanket overall. They can be purchased at boutique stores, I got mine from The Breastfeeding Center here locally. They can also be purchased online at http://www.adenandanais.com/default.aspx.

This is the muslin one we have!

 We have the center "Feather" bamboo one and I gave the others as gifts as the bamboo are only sold in packs. They make wonderful shower gifts :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I have a new admiration for those who co-sleep/bed-share with their babies!

It is something we weren't able to do when Myles was first born, because we had a full size bed that was barely big enough for Paul & I. Now that we have a king bed, I have tried during times that Myles wakes in the night fights going back to sleep, but our room is much to bright and he always ends up thinking it is time to play. Well last night he was having a hard time sleeping due to teething and a cough he has, so I ended up taking him into the guest room and sleeping in there with him (it is much darker in the guest room and also I didn't want to keep Paul up if it didn't work). It took Myles about 15 minutes of wiggling around to get comfy with his little butt in the air and feet in my face before he fell asleep. I was nervous of rolling into him, having him scoot his face under the blankets and afraid if I moved to get more comfortable I would wake him up. However once I pulled all blankets to my side of the bed and finally fell asleep, we slept good till morning. I think maybe having co-slept/bed-shared from the beginning it may be easier, since we would all be used to it, but since we are not and he is a wiggly sleeper I just have to say I really have new admiration for those who can do it every night!! I will say there is a lot of controversy in the news regarding co-sleeping/bed-sharing, but if it is done properly and safe rules are followed, I have heard it is awesome & can be really a wonderful thing. Maybe if we have another baby we can do this from the start!

Here are some links on proper bed-sharing: 



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Phil & Ted Highpod high-chair review

I had been looking for a different high-chair for Myles as I wasn't feeling the love for his Graco Lowery chair. I liked the fabric colors but hated the fabric on it, the cracks & crevices that always collected crumbs and the way that the harness buckled was very awkward. I found this high-chair sort of randomly and at a great deal and thought it looked much easier to clean & use. Well, it is! I haven't taken off the rubber seat cushion yet, but it looks easy to take off or if any crumbs get under you can reach a cloth mostly under it to clean (have only had to do that once or twice so far). The harness is so easy to strap a baby in. It came with cushy pads for the straps, but due to how messy Myles can be, I took them off for the time being. One feature he loves and we do as well, is that it can be lowered and the tray taken off so he can be slid up to the table and dine with us. The seat has 3 reclines and can be almost flat for a baby under 16 pounds, midway and then in the upright position. The footrest has an option of being out as show or folded back & under. Ours came with a bonus footrest that sits between the seat & the one shown for shorter babies and when they get long enough to reach the main one it can be removed. I do find the tray to be a bit small, and the easy to clean top tray (that sits over the main tray) is so easy to remove that Myles takes it off all the time while eating. I normally just leave it off now. The main tray is easy to clean as well. I think I am going to buy the Snack Attack tray (larger with cup holder indents) for him as I think it will be nicer. All in all I love this chair & am so happy with my purchase.
The chair can be found here: http://www.pishposhbaby.com/highpod.html
The Snack Attack tray here: http://www.diapers.com/p/phil-teds-highpod-snack-attack-food-tray-26092

Happy Dining!!

January 2012

Happy New Years!! I haven't done much with my blog, but today I put in the request to delete my Facebook. Without a Facebook account I will have a little more time hopefully to work on this. Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!