Friday, September 16, 2011

mommy must- haves

For some reason, this mommy didn't sleep well last night. Dane had been on a BEAUTIFUL sleeping schedule, sleeping roughly 6-8 hours a night. We went to visit my parents for Labor Day weekend and since returning he's now on a 4hour schedule through the night. Last night was better- he was in his bassinet from a bit before 9pm until 5am this morning... but he wasn't sleeping the whole time. He would get restless and I would have to replace his paci. He found his thumb for the first time yesterday... not sure how I feel about that. I'd prefer a paci sucker to a thumb sucker because I can take the paci away one of these days. A thumb on the other hand is pretty permanent. He woke up to eat at 5am and then snuggled in next to me to go back to sleep and shortly after Tevie was up and getting ready for work.

As I lay there with the most beautiful sleeping baby in my arms, with tears in my eyes I thanked God for him. As a girlfriend said the other day, one year ago we were praying for my uterus and Wow! did it produce! I simply can't imagine life without my precious boy. The fact that I have just four weeks left of my maternity leave sits over my head like a big dark cloud. I try to enjoy every single day but as each day closes I realize I am one day to closer to sending my angel baby to day care. I KNOW thousands of kids across America go to day care and turn into happy, well-adjusted adults... I just don't like the thought of it for our family.

Over the past few weeks we have developed a list of essential baby items. Of course, our house is FULL of baby stuff, but a few items have risen to the top. We could not do with out our Chicco Key Fit Travel System. The seat easily snaps in and out of the base and the base is surprisingly easy to buckle in safely, if and when it needs to be moved. The one flaw of this system is that the stroller is rather bulky and heavy, especially if you're post c-section and loading it alone. We also love our Graco swing which has become our new favorite place to doze off for our mid-morning nap... well, Dane's favorite. But believe me, if they made them in adult sizes it would be my favorite place to nap too! :)

Our #1 can't-live-without-this item is the Playtex Binky.
My breastfed baby is not a fan of the Nuk silicone nippled pacifiers, though he will take them if mommy has forgotten the good ones. I don't know if it's the texture of the rubber nipple or the shape, but he definitely prefers this puppies to any other. We have also tried the Tommee Tippee and Avent Soothies... which look adorable filling the glass jar on his changing table because they serve no other purpose for Dane. :)

Even Tevie said the other day that the Boppy was a good purchase. Not only did it help early on when I needed extra support getting Dane to nurse, now he enjoys being propped up on it so he can look around. We bought this when I was about 34weeks pregnant and I slept with it through the remainder of my pregnancy. The u-shape fit right under my belly and gave me extra support at night. Worth every penny we spent on it!
We have tried the Dr. Brown's bottles and Dr. Brown's nipples in a regular bottle and neither seem to be as easy for Dane to drink from as the Avent bottles. He doesn't get a bottle all that often, but when he does he drinks easily from these and doesn't spit up afterward. He also seems to prefer the shape of this nipple to other bottles.
Because pump accessories and the Avent and Dr. Brown's bottles have so many pieces, a dishwasher basket is a must. This one from Munchkin is wonderful. It has a separate place for nipples and a divider for larger pieces. I also LOVE the Medela Steam Bags. If you're a germophobe and worried about getting things really clean- you must get a few of these. You can use each bag 20 times. Just beware, you really should follow the directions on the back and use enough water when steaming pump tubing... it will melt. Oops.

So far, for sleeping, Dane is doing well in the Kolcraft bassinet that is on loan from a generous friend. Before bed, I dress him in a sleeping gown and then zip him into his Halo Sleep sack. He is a kicker and would kick blankets off and then wake up freezing. Also, he's SO long that sleep gowns don't cover his feet. This combo seems to be working, and it's easy access for middle of the night diaper changes.

Since he's now sleeping longer at night, mommy's favorite item right now is the Lansinoh pads. I have some organic cotton ones that I love for daytime, but at night, you'll need the plastic backing on these because 1) they stick to your sleeping bra (another must-have from Motherhood Maternity) and 2) you won't wake up having soaked through your sleeping bra, shirt and the sheets! :)
Finally, we love gDiapers! I wasn't worried at all about nursing, I thought cloth diapering would be the tougher of the two, however for me it's been the other way around. Cloth diapering is super easy, especially with these. When he wets, you pull out the cotton insert and replace it with a dry one. If he has a blow out, you'll need to replace the plastic liner as well, but that doesn't happen all that often. He usually wears the same cute, cotton gPant all day. They come in the cutest colors and patterns and are easy to use, I think. Since he's breastfed, everything goes directly in the washer without rinsing. I have an HE washer, so I run a pre-soak and an extra rinse and always use a sanitary cycle. Thirsties Diaper Wash has worked great so far and I love the way the back deck looks when I hang everything out to dry... I'm sure my neighbors do too. :) The one thing I have found is that I can't load my washer with a bunch of cloth diapering stuff. It gets everything cleaner if it's a medium load, rather than a large one.

If you're in the market for baby stuff, I wouldn't recommend anything but a Medela pump, Pampers Swaddlers (if you're using disposables) and Boudreaux's Butt Paste for diaper rash. Although, I think a thick coating of A&D ointment is best for a night before bed.

I'm sure as Dane gets bigger there will be other things we can't live without. Every time I turn around another girlfriend is pregnant and I know I was happy to hear from moms who had actually used the stuff. Maybe soon I'll do another post on what we could have lived without and I have a million things on my mind regarding what God has laid on our hearts lately... I just haven't been able to put it to words yet.  

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