With so many family members and friends expecting--and one adoption finalized--I thought it might be fun to do a post about some of my favorite things so far. Now that Nanner is almost 5 months old, we've gotten a ton of use out of some products, and not so much use out of some others. I thought this would be a fun way to catalog some of the products we're using most often these days.
1. BundleMe by J.J. Cole
This was a lifesaver for us this past winter. We were relatively clueless about how to keep a baby warm when it's cold outside. Hell, sometimes I can't remember to put a hat on my head, so I had no idea how to keep a baby from freezing. The BundleMe is great. It's basically a sleeping bag that has elastic and velcro on it and attaches itself to your infant carseat. No blankets to fuss with! Genius! It's got a fleece liner and a soft exterior, so it's perfect for teeny babies during Midwestern winters. I'd definitely call this a must-have for new parents, especially if you'll be toting around a little one during the winter.
2. Graco Pack N' Play
At first, I wanted a bassinet. There's something so dreamlike and wonderful about a sleeping baby in a bassinet. However, they aren't necessarily the most practical because they're outgrown so quickly, and with Hannah's room upstairs we'd be toting her up and down during middle of the night diaper changes. It didn't really make sense for us. The Pack N' Play (pnp) was perfect. It's a decent size (read: takes up a chunk of our bedroom), but it has its own changing pad (bonus!) and is adjustable so for small newborns you can hoist up the mattress on the pnp and for larger babies, just lay it on the bottom of the pnp. It's also portable, so we can take it with us when we go camping or visiting Uncle Brian & Aunt Robyn. As an added bonus, it's got its own mobile, and Hannah can't get enough of it.
3. Baby Nightgowns
Not the best picture, but you get the idea. For the first 4 months of her life, this is all Hannah wore to sleep. They are delightfully cute, and for middle of the night diaper changes, they're perfect because she doesn't have to be completely undressed. Hannah has pretty much grown out of them now (she's been in six month clothes for quite a while), and since she's sleeping through the night (STTN)(knock on wood) we aren't dealing with 4:00 a.m. changes anymore.
4. Boppy pillow
This. Was. A. Gift. From. God. (Actually, it was a gift from my cousin, but you get the idea.) On the advice of my friend LOG, I brought this to the hospital when Nanner was born. Best. Advice. Ever. As you can see from the above photo (for which I will go to parental hell), Hannah was a pretty skinny baby. But when she was nursing and falling asleep she was total dead weight. Learning to nurse a baby was difficult enough. Having the Boppy was awesome because it took a lot of the weight off of my arms so I could get her to latch on properly. Now that she's rolling and learning to sit (Oh, how she tries!) it's great for balancing her and keeping her from moving around too much. And selfishly, it's great for cuddling with when my hips start to hurt at night.
A few years ago, a friend of mine had twins. She decided late in her pregnancy that she was going to try cloth diapering both of them. Let me say it again. A friend of mine was delivering two babies AT THE SAME TIME and wanted BOTH OF THEM to wear CLOTH DIAPERS.
I thought she was nuts.
Fast forward to 2010, and suddenly we start thinking about cloth diapering and being all environmentally conscious. Had I been preggers in 2008 like my friend, I probably would have used disposable diapers ("sposies" in the cding vernacular) delightfully. "Look at me! I'm ::gasp:: THROWING AWAY my diapers! Gee, isn't it swell not having to worry about washing diapers and getting poop all over myself?" Once we were actually expecting a baby of our own, we started thinking about the impact all those diapers would have on the environment, and, flaming liberal hippy that I am, I wanted to avoid contributing to that mess as much as possible. We looked into a cloth diaper service but so few are even available now; I found ONE in the Chicago area. I still wasn't on the CD bandwagon until Graham told me about gDiapers. He had heard about them on the radio and looked into them and they were awesome. Cloth covers, disposable liners. GENIUS!! As with most cloth diapers, the up-front cost is more expensive than your average box of Pampers, but in the long run, we just have to buy liners.
What I like best about them is that there is zero plastic involved in the liner, so while Hannah wears disposable diapers at night (Mama didn't raise no fool), her bottom isn't ever red--even a little bit--after a few hours in a gDiaper. With the disposables, her butt always seems to be a little more sensitive. And, the liners biodegrade in about 150 days, give or take. That's 499 years faster than your average disposable diaper.
My one complaint is that they don't grow with your baby, so you're constantly moving to the next size up. I've started looking into hybrid diapers similar to the gDiapers that give you a little more bang for your buck. There's a lot out there....Gro Via, FuzziBuns, BumGenius....it's mind-blowing. But, for the time being, I really like our system.