Sleeping/Soothing Baby Essentials

ImageSleep…what is that?  That’s how I felt the first few months of Jeremiah’s life.  Oh, what I would give for just a few precious hours of consecutive sleep!  I want to know: how do babies KNOW the moment your head hits the pillow or you step into the shower?  You could stay awake for hours watching them sleep, but as soon as you take a minute for yourself, they are wide awake wanting you again!

The good news is…it doesn’t last forever.  🙂  Jeremiah has been sleeping through the night (mostly) since he was six months old and could roll himself over and grab his paci.  Thank goodness!  In the meantime, we did whatever we could to get him to sleep as long as possible (and healthy, since he had trouble gaining weight the first month of his life).  Here are my favorite sleeping/soothing baby items that my mommy friends recommended I get when I was making my baby registry:

The Essentials: (I already talked about these in an earlier post, but they are worth mentioning again!)

  • HALO SleepSack (get two in each size, cotton for summer or fleece for winter)
View More: http://jackiecooperphoto.pass.us/jeremiahanders

Aden & Anias Swaddle Blanket Photo by Jackie Cooper Photo

Very Nice To Have, But Not Essential:

Nice To Have:

I’ll spend the next few posts with in-depth reviews of these items, but this should get your baby registry list off to a great start!

Click here for a FREE Download of my Baby Registry List.

This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!

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Cloth Diapering: My Story

list2Let’s talk about cloth diapers.  Before Jeremiah was born, I didn’t know anything about them, except that I wore cloth as a baby (my diapers were eventually used as car washing rags) and they involved plastic pants.  So I didn’t really give it much consideration, until I saw a friend’s baby in a cloth diaper.  And it was adorable!

WHY CLOTH:
My friend took me to the local cloth diapering store where they showed me the in’s and out’s of cloth diapers.  There were so many possibilities, I was amazed that there was a cloth diaper to fit any lifestyle and budget.  Not to mention the fun fabrics and prints…and no crinkly plastic pants in sight!

Anyone can tell you that my husband and I are quite frugal as well, so the price was a big deal.  I already felt like I was bleeding money buying all the baby gear and was looking for any possible way to save some.  When I crunched the numbers, I discovered that I would start saving money on diapering before Jeremiah turned six months old.  If you’ve ever looked at the prices on a package of disposable diapers, that is a BIG DEAL!  Needless to say, that made the decision even easier.

GETTING STARTED:

I must admit, I used disposables from my baby shower for the first month after Jeremiah was born, and I don’t regret it.  There is enough to adjust to with a new baby, and no need to add extra laundry or a new diapering system to mix.  But, when they were almost gone, I pulled out my first few diapers I had purchased and nervously put one on him.  I also joined some cloth diapering groups on Facebook and spent the nighttime feeding hours scouring Pinterest and blogs for advice.

JD in his first cloth diaper (a Softbums Echo).

Jeremiah in his first cloth diaper (a Softbums Echo).

My husband was not really a fan of the idea of cloth diapering, but when I showed him the possible savings, he said I could give it a try.  A lot of people ask how to get their spouse/significant other on board with diapering and one thing that really helped us was buying a variety of brands for us both try out.  Then, he and I each picked our top brand (they were different) and I created a “mini stash” of 4-5 diapers just for him.  While he won’t admit to being a huge fan, I have caught him showing his friends how easy cloth was to use, and he appreciates the savings.  When we do use disposables on trips, he can’t get over how weird they smell and how much more they leak than cloth. Now, we both look forward to getting back to our cloth diapering routine when we get home!

ONE YEAR LATER…

Now, almost a year later, I am SO glad I am using cloth.  Not only is the savings wonderful, but changing diapers is fun.  The cute prints and fun colors are something I look forward to using each day.  Not to mention, they are my staple accessory for monthly photo shoots to document Jeremiah’s first year.  I love sharing my story with other moms and showing them how easy cloth diapering can be.

CONSIDERING CLOTH?

Here’s some basic advice I’ll leave you with if you’re interested in starting cloth diapering.

  • Go to a local cloth diapering store, or ask a friend who cloth diapers to show you what they use.  Touching/seeing them in person is a great way to start figuring out what will work best for you.
  • Set a budget…and stick to it!  You don’t have to have a lot of money to cloth diaper.  For as little as $100, you can have everything you need to diaper your baby from birth to potty training.  Check out what my $100 Cloth Diaper Stash would look like HERE.
  • Try a few different kinds before you buy an entire stash.  One diaper may seem like the one you’ll like the most, but until you put it to the test, you won’t know for sure.  You may even want to check out a diaper trial program that lets you sample various brands/types before you buy.
  • Join the cloth diaper community.  Check out blogs like Dirty Diaper Laundry for helpful advice about ALL your cloth diapering questions.  You can also follow me on Pinterest to see all the cloth diapering resources I’ve found helpful on my journey.

Top Ten (Not Obvious) Baby Essentials for the First Year

list1There are the obvious baby essentials (like a car seat, pack-n-play, or swing), but what are the other things that really helped us all survive that first year of a baby’s life?  That’s what I’d like to share with you today.  I’ll do a short review/explanation of each item, but check back for more in-depth reviews in the future!

1. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper – We used this for the first six months of Jeremiah’s life!  He had reflux, so laying flat after eating was not a good thing for him.  Thanks to this sleeper, I could nurse him and put him right back to bed during the night.  He loved it and used it until he was rolling over (and too big to fit!).

2. WubbaNub – We got a bunch of pacifiers as baby gifts, but really only needed a couple of these.  The Wubbanubs are adorable pacifiers with a small stuff toy attached.  They keep the pacifier from flying across the room when Jeremiah spits them out, they are easy for him to locate in his crib at night, and they hold his pacifier within reach.  Not to mention they make fun toys to play with when he wakes up from a nap!

3. HALO SleepSack – I thought these looked ridiculous, but boy do they make swaddling a new baby easy!  This was the only way Jeremiah slept for the first six months of his life.  They promote safe sleeping by not having loose blankets or clothing.  Sleep Sacks come in both cotton (for summer) and fleece (for winter).  You definitely want a few in each size so you have an extra if one needs to be washed.

4. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD – Our cousins made us watch this video when they found out we were expecting.  I fondly refer to Dr. Karp as the “Baby Whisperer” and with his advice, you can become one too!

5. Cloth Diapers – I was a cloth diaper skeptic, until a friend took me to a local cloth diaper store and they showed me how easy cloth diapering could be.  Now I’m hooked!  I haven’t spent money on diapers since Jeremiah was six months old, and my husband is a fan as well.  You will see MANY posts about these in the future, and I hope you see the benefits of them like I did.

6. Dohm-Sound Conditioner – It all started with an app called “Relax Melodies.”  It worked like magic getting Jeremiah to sleep from the time he was first born.  But for home, this works WONDERS!  It cancels out almost all sounds and provides a nice, soothing environment for Jeremiah to sleep.  Yes, I could use a small fan (we did that, but the fan died after a month), but this is better because you don’t have to worry about drafts in the baby’s room…and it’s a lot easier to take with you on trips!

7. Sensible Lines Milk Trays – These simple freezer trays freeze milk in one ounce increments.  This is great because you NEVER have to deal with bags that leak (or buy breastmilk bags for that matter), and you only thaw out what you need.

8. Piyo Piyo Baby Nail Scissors – Clipping a baby’s nails can be stressful.  And with Jeremiah hitting the one year mark pretty soon, I can assure you that it doesn’t necessarily get easier as babies get older.  These little scissors are awesome and can make the task less daunting.

9. Nosefrida The Snotsucker – This is the replacement for the bulb “snot suckers” they use in the hospital.  It may seem a little gross, but trust me, this is awesome!  My favorite thing is that not only does it do an amazing job of clearing little noses, but it also comes apart for easy cleaning.  That is something the bulbs can’t do!

10. On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep – I know parts of this book may be controversial in some circles, but honestly, this book may as well be called “The Owner’s Manual for your Baby.”  Seriously, it gives first-time parents very clear guidelines on what to expect and how to help your baby eat and sleep well.  I read it all before JD was born, then used it as a daily reference tool throughout the first year as I dealt with different parenting questions that came up.

Well, there it is!  Not the first things you’d think of to add to your baby registry, but definitely ones we couldn’t live without.  Want a teaser to see what’s to come in future posts?  Follow my Pinterest page to see all my baby recommendations and more! Click here for a FREE download of my Baby Registry List! This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!

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Hello World!

Photo credit: jackiecooperphoto.com

Cuddling the baby who made me a mama.

Some people think I have it all together.  I guess that’s what a first born, semi-perfectionist, organizing obsession will get you.  But really, it all comes down to lists (and post-it notes).  The only thing I enjoy more than making lists is sharing them with friends to save them the trouble of making their own lists.  🙂

Last year, before Jeremiah was born, I was overwhelmed by the amount of baby things you could buy for one little person.  Being frugal, I really wanted to narrow down our purchases to the necessities.  Thanks to the advice of friends (and the help of Excel and Pinterest to organize my ideas), I created my list of baby essentials.  Now, I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you!

Not only will you find lists of my top baby products, but also reviews and pictures of other things I find helpful as I navigate through life as a wife and mom.