As we’ve been preparing for our baby, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot more “want” items than NEED items. Babies do not need much, as one of Neil’s co-workers put it they need a place to sleep, clothes, diapers and a boob. Everything else is really just extra, but of course many things are nice to have.
My biggest struggle with a registry is waiting so long to find out if anyone would give us items off our registry for our shower which wasn’t until early June. I am such a planner and it was been torture waiting so long to see if any of our top priority items were gifted to us. Since I am a planner and don’t want to rely on chance that someone will gift us the items we need we decided to buy certain things if we saw them for a good deal.
- Registering for Essentials – While they aren’t always the most fun thing on the baby registry, it’s great to get some of those essentials off the “need list” taken care of at the shower. They can be little things like onesies or possibly bigger things like a car seat that a group of friends could buy together. Don’t be afraid to let friends and family know that those are things you’d love to have (a note on your baby website or invitation)
- Craigslist/Buying Used – This one can be tricky. Be sure to consider the condition of the item, how old it is and its source before buying something online or from a yard sale. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and don’t buy anything sight unseen. Be sure to find out their models and check for recalls on them before purchasing as well. There are also some things you should never buy used(cribs, breast pumps, car seats).
- Borrowing – If you’re not the first of your friends or family to have a baby, you may be lucky enough to have someone you can borrow items from. Things like jumpers, infant pillow seats and co-sleepers are great things to borrow if that is an option.
- Deal/Clearance Websites – There are plenty of good deals to be found on discount and clearance websites like BabySteals and EcoBabyBuys. These sites update often and the good deals and popular products can sell out quickly. Be sure to check often and don’t forget to factor in the shipping and compare the prices to sites like Amazon.
- Not everything needs to be organic
- Re-purpose items you already have – If you have an old dresser or book shelf that you can re-purpose for the nursery, there’s no need to go buy a new one. Take stock of what you have at home or in storage and see if there’s anything you can re-purpose.
In the nursery we kept our eyes peeled for a dresser on Craigslist and finally spotted one that we wanted and for only $50!
We re-purposed our small white shelving unit that was already in the nursery which used to be my office- costing us nothing.
Rather than buying art work to fill the nursery walls we made our own art work totaling around $60 for supplies. It also made for a great arts and crafts night with the Hubz and our friend Laura.
We found our Moby wrap on Craigslist and although it wasn’t the color that I wanted it was in good shape, practically brand new (the couple who we bought it from only used it a few times) and it was only $20.
Also purchased from Craigslist was our baby swing ($60), bouncy chair ($20), bumbo ($10), boppy ($10), and brestfriend ($10); all gently used and at good prices. We don’t love the cover of our boppy and we will be replacing that but otherwise everything just needs a wash and is in good condition. The total retail cost of everything would have been around $300 versus the $110 we spent on everything! Additionally these are all items that will be used only for 3-6 months before they will be retired so no need investing big bucks in items with such a short life.
We bought our Ergo on BabySteals for $80 which was 47% off the retail price.
Take advantage of sale racks and outlets. We have been able to find a number of items from Baby Gap both regular store and the outlet, see that Santa onesie? It was only 59 cents! Also if it’s on sale and you really like it buy it in bigger sizes as well.
Buy gentle used clothes and take advantage of hand-me-downs. We have taken advantage of gentle used clothing deals such as $10 for 10 onesies.
Cloth diapering. Cloth diapering is an investment at first however in the long term you will have a huge savings. A great resource for comparing prices of different types of cloth diapers and that of disposable is this site. If you really want to save money go the prefolds route.
Breastfeeding. Basically free. All you need may need to purchase are a breast pump, milk storage bags and a few bottles.
Make your own. When it comes time to start feeding solids make your own baby food!
At our 31 week appointment it was confirmed that our baby was breech, we were told not to worry that there was still plenty of time for them to turn and given a sheet of different positions that I could try at home to encourage them to turn. Even though I was reassured that it was nothing to really worry about until I was closer to 35 weeks I still couldn’t help but wonder- what if this baby doesn’t turn? Our midwife sent us home with the handout below and suggested that we try The Breech Tilt (pillow version), as well as, to focus on sitting forward and not crossing my legs.
For the next two weeks I did The Breech Tilt, I tried talking to the baby and massaging my belly in a downward motion and Neil’s favorite we tired the flashlight trick. At our 33 week appointment we were told the baby was head down and that it was 98% chance that they would stay that way- WIN! Update: Almost 38 weeks now and the baby is still head down!
We lucked out but for those of you who are trying to flip a breech baby here are the suggestions that I received from my yoga teacher who is also a doula, from our midwife and via spinningbabies.com:
- First off visit spinningbabies.com
- yoga poses: supported bridge pose and cat/cow pose
- swimming; diving to the bottom of the pool
- warm/cold compress
- don’t cross your legs
- sit leaning slightly forward, never lounge back
- sleep on side with high knee
- talking to baby belly while rubbing downward motion
Was/Is your baby breech? What techniques have you tried? Did any of them seem to work?
During our Natural Baby Care Class one of the big topics that came up was Attachment Parenting. Attachment Parenting is based on forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. We discussed Attachment Parenting International‘s (API) Eight Principles of Parenting*:
- Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
- Examples: Work through negative emotions surrounding pregnancy. Explore different types of healthcare providers and birthing options. Educated yourself about developmental stages of baby.
- Feed With Love and Respect
- Examples: Breastfeeding and attachment. “Bottle Nursing”. Nurturing through feeding. Introducing solids. Nurturing a taste for nutritional foods. Gentle weaning.
- Respond With Sensitivity
- Examples: Needs and the benefits of responding with sensitivity. Responding to tantrums and strong emotions. Responding to the old child.
- Using Nurturing Touch
- Examples: Needs and the benefits of nurturing touch. How to provide nurturing touch. Nurturing touch and the older children.
- Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
- Examples: The case against solitary sleep. What is Co-Sleeping (co-sleeping versus bed sharing). Nighttime routines.
- Providing Consistent and Loving Care
- Examples: Create schedules with baby in mind. Practical tips for short separations. Working and alternate caregivers.
- Practice Positive Discipline
- Examples: The dangers of traditional discipline. A gentler approach to discipline. Tools for positive discipline.
- Strive For Balance in Your Personal and Family Life
- Examples: Balance is the foundation upon which attachment grows. Practical tips for maintaining balance. Tips for supporting new mothers. Tips for balance and the older child. Tips for dealing with parent “burn-out”
*Information provided from Mother Rising Childbirth Services
The most important thing to remember about attachment parenting is that you don’t have to do it all or go to the extreme. Finding what works best for you is most important. We have done our best to prepare for pregnancy, I am planning to breastfeed, we will be co-sleeping for the first few months (not bed-sharing but rather sleeping in the same room) and are planning to keep all of these principles in mind as we begin our lives as a family of three.
Do you practice attachment parenting?
- Date night at home. Sunday night Neil and I enjoyed a date night at home. It was one of those date nights where it took us hours to prepare dinner and we spent time in the kitchen cooking together. Neil prepared a batch of bread and made homemade burger buns. He also prepped potatoes to make The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect French Fries. I fried up the french fries, prepped burger toppings and cooked up our veggie burgers. Then we sat down to enjoy them together and watched Young Adult. We had no computers, no distractions and hours of time together just talking and cooking. I spent the night trying to soak it all in knowing that this would probably be one of the last times for many years that just the two of us would be able to do something like this, however it also made me excited to share nights like these one day with our child.
- Diapering. I finished washing all of our cloth diapers and pre-folds, which unfortunately have to be washed at least three times. I am looking forward to stuffing diapers tonight and getting them all ready for our little one’s arrival!
- Uncomfortable. Unfortunately it has been ridiculously hot and humid here lately which is making me really uncomfortable. The other night our bedroom was so hot and humid I slept on the couch until that got uncomfortable and then I slept for a little while on the floor in front of the A/C before finally heading to bed. I am so glad that it is finally cooling down a bit.
- Never Ending To Do List. You know you’re nesting when….your to do list is four pages long. Okay so they are small pages but still it’s a mile long and although we crossed off a number of items this weekend there is still so much to do.
Neil and I started considering baby names around week 17 of our pregnancy. We sat down and both made our own list of about 10 boy names and 10 girl names (although I am pretty sure that my boy name list was like 15 and girl was around 6). Once we finished our individual lists we exchanged them and crossed off any that we didn’t like from each others lists and then from our two lists we then created one master list.
We then considered the following things:
- nicknames/shortening of name
- how it sounded with our last names
- for girls names how it sounded with our pre-determined middle name
- ease of pronunciation and spelling
The things we didn’t take into consideration:
- opinions of family and friends
Girls Names: Here are a few of the girls names that made our lists (either his, hers or ours) at some point in our naming process [note this list may or may not include the final name choice – you’ll just have to wait to find out!]
- Edith (Edie)
Boys Names: Here are a few of the boys names that made our lists (either his, hers or ours) at some point in our naming process [note like above this list may or may not include the final name choice – you’ll just have to wait to find out!]
- Peeta (loved because of Scandinavian roots but removed from list for obvious reasons)
Eventually we whittled our lists down and came up with five boy and five girl names that we really liked. Then we let things marinate for a while and took a few weeks off from really discussing names.
Around Week 23, we started to really talk about names again and slowly started to reduce our list. By Week 24 we had decided on our boys first name and middle name but we were still debating over our girl’s name.
By Week 26, we had narrowed our girls name down to two options although we were leaning more towards one and eventually settled on it(or so we thought). Then, around week 33 I came across another girls name that I really have been drawn to and we debated over it for a few weeks but ultimately decided that the name we were leaning towards originally was the girls name wanted to go with.
Now here we are Week 37 and we are ready and waiting the arrival of our little boy or girl. Part of me wonders if we will have a change of heart about the name when we meet them? Will we need to go back to the drawing board? Or will the name that we decided on be just right?
How did you go about choosing your baby name(s)?
- BabyKerf: A Rose By Any Other Name
- Bug Child: What’s in a Name?
- The Bump: A No-Stress Guide to Baby Naming
- Daily Garnish: What’s In A Name? Choosing One for a Baby Boy
One of the topics we discussed in our Natural Baby Care Class was the benefits of babywearing and the various babywearing options. There are so many great benefits to discuss as well as a variety of babywearing options out there, it can be really overwhelming to figure out which style is best for you. In our class our doula brought along a few different carriers for us to try out and show us how they actually work.
Did you know?*
- Babies that are held/carried often cry less.
- Babies that are held/carried are calmer.
- Babies that are held/carried are better sleepers.
- Babies that are held/carried nurse more frequently.
- Babies that are held/carried have better digestion, especially those who experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Babies that are held/carried develop better.
Fitted Pouches- A simple tube of fabric that does not have any rings, snaps or buckles. The wearer choose the proper size based on their height, weight, chest and shoulder-to-hip length. This may require you to purchase two different fitted pouches if both you and your partner plan to use one and you are not the same size. At this time we have chosen not to go with the fitted pouch but our Doula Sarah, highly recommends the Hotslings brand and loved to use it with her daughter.
Adjustable Pouches- These are similar to fitted pouches however they can be sized via snaps, zippers, drawstrings or a product similar to Velcro but much stronger called Aplix. These are great because they work well if you loose or gain wait however they can be much bulkier than a fitted pouch.
Ring Slings- A ring sling is a a long loop of fabric that is set through adjustable rings. There are two types closed-tail and open-tail. Closed-tail slings such as the one seen here the fabric ends in a strap that can be adjusted, they are usually much more padded and can be bulkier. Open-tail slings have a wide length of fabric that are passed through rings and has an open tail of fabric. The tail can be used for shade, breastfeeding cover, a blanket or burp cloth.
(Source: Maya Wrap)
Sarah brought her Maya Wrap for us to see and test out during our class and both Neil and I really loved it so we decided to add it to our babycarrier stash. Things I loved about it: how you can easily adjust it with one hand, the extra piece of fabric that can be used as a cover when breastfeeding, how you can easily loosen the sling and breastfeed, it’s lighter for summer time, the padded shoulder and how natural it seems to wear it.
Asian-style Carrier (onbuhimo, podegi, hmong, bei (these use 2 straps) or mei tai (uses 4 straps)– These style carriers use square/rectangular panels of fabric and two or four straps to secure baby. The mei tai (may-tie) style of carrier is the most popular. Our friends have the Babyhawk mei tai style carrier and absolutely love it. For now we are going to stick with the carriers we have/registered for but are considering getting a Babyhawk some day.
A Wrap- A wrap is basically a really long rectangular piece of fabric that your wrap and tie around your body. It is the least structured and can be used by any body type and you can tie it so you are able to carry in a number of positions. It can be rather tricky at first to get used to and to make sure you are doing it correctly but after a few tries you’ll get it. It is great for newborns and smaller children (under 20 lbs). As you can see in my photo at the top I have been practicing with our MOBY wrap.
Soft-pack Carriers- These are actually based on the Asian-style carriers are little more structured with buckles and extra padding. These style carriers generally allow for limited positions which include front, back and side. We purchased the Ergo Options Carrier off of Babysteals after being highly recommended by a number of people and fellow bloggers.I have also heard great things about the Beco Baby which is a similar style.
Do/did you practice baby wearing? What kind of carrier do/did you use?
We not only learned about the various types of baby carriers but also how to correctly use them. Sarah demonstrated the proper position for the baby in each of the carriers she had, neither of us had a mei tai so we did not get a demonstration of that carrier, however we were provided handouts with photos that discussed proper and improper wearing of each baby carrier.
*Source: From Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition by Maria Blois, MD (Pharmasoft Publishing, 2005) found in excerpt from Mothering magazine.
**Source: Mothering magazine– article Babywearing 101
- StylebabyLog: How To Tie The MOBY Wrap
- Fitnessista: Next Wrap Step
- Kincaid Parade: The Sling Diaries: love and The Sling Diaries: style
- More Like Home: Baby Carriers
- Daily Garnish: Babywearing Updates (And Videos)
Disclosure: We are not babywearing experts. All the knowledge above is based off of materials and discussion provided in our Natural Baby Care Class.