Katy and I met in PTA school and immediately hit it off. Her and I had the same sense of humor, we liked the same things and got along great. She is one of the smartest people I had met in that program and she taught me a lot. Now, with her 2nd baby on the way, her and I have been staying close to eachother because we both have had similar high blood pressure issues related to pregnancy. It was nice to have someone to vent to and someone there for support. Katy, we may not see eachother as often as we should, but you are dear friend and I wish you nothing but the best.
I swore up and down I was going to be a mother of an only child, here I am nearly 34 weeks pregnant with number 2. Ok, all you doubters won, and as we prepare for our little boy I have had the unique (maybe not so unique, definitely not so convenient) position of having to prepare as if I was pregnant with my first. My husband and I have a wonderful and spunky, nearly 3 year old girl, Harper. This child is so blessed and spoiled that we have struggled at every holiday, birthday, and life event to buy her gifts because this girl has EVERYTHING! I’m not sure if there is a documented case of her re-wearing an outfit. This mama hates clutter, and so as Harper has continued to grow, and I was so positive that she would be my only child, I have been generous in giving away toys/clothes/baby items to family and friends. Joke’s on me.Our upcoming arrival was planned, not a surprise, but as his birthday is quickly approaching, I have had to get organized. Preparing has been much less stressful this time around because we have done this once. It has been fun, sometimes challenging, to think back to what baby products we loved the first time around and what we would like to have for our little guy. I did not know the sex of our first born so we had everything gender neutral, anything we had left will work this time around, it was just minimal. These products were deemed, by me, to be “must haves”. They made life with Harper a whole lot easier and with my fingers tightly crossed, will hopefully have the same effect with our little boy. My guess is not, but if they help others than it won’t be for nothing!
First and foremost, I need to thank my wonderful daughter for being the easiest, most mild tempered baby in all of the world. Kid slept through the night (I’m talking 10pm-6 or7am) at 6 weeks old. I always felt I could make it through the hardest day because I knew that I would have 6-8 hours of peace, relaxation, sleep, tv, whatever at night. I realize that this is a luxury not afforded to most parents, trust when I say I did not take it for granted and will likely be paid back handsomely this time around. I credit her sleeping prowess to several of my “must haves”.
We used the Summer Infant brand first time around but most Velcro swaddles are made the same. I am no origami master, so swaddling with a blanket never really worked for us. The second (not exaggerating) we situated Harper into the swaddle, she fell into such a deep sleep I swear I thought for a minute something was wrong. I’m not ashamed to admit I held a mirror to her nose/mouth to insure she was in fact, breathing. It was a match made in heaven and we never looked back, until she was able to roll over and we retired the swaddle. It was a sad day, but by that time, girl loved her sleep!
Harper slept through the installation of a hardwood floor 15 feet from her bedroom door. Thank you noise machines! She has been able to sleep through fireworks, parties, Cubs World Series Game 7, and Blackhawk Stanley Cup Championships with the help of a heartbeat sound filling her room. She is almost 3 and turns it on herself every night and for every nap. We love it so much our parents keep them at their houses for when she stays there.
Rock And Play
I know this carries some controversy as there is some incline with this item and babies should be laid flat. That being said, I love it and my mom upgraded us this time around to a self rocking Rock and Play. I’m pretty darn excited about it and wish it came in my size. We used it for Harper when she came home from the hospital and kept her near our bed. We tried the pack and play and crib but I think this big, wide world was a little too open for her. She wanted some closer quarters for sleeping. And how convenient is this item?!?! It folds up and easily fits into our vehicles, making trips to friends and family easier.
This is one invention I look at and say to myself “who thinks of this?” We were gifted several at our baby shower for Harper and I thought they may be a little unnecessary. WRONG! They are easy to hold, the animal acts as a little weight so the baby can’t fling it as easily, and are easy to find in a crib/car seat/diaper bag. She ended up with 7, and still sleeps with them in her bed, just with the pacifier part cut off. It made transitioning away from the pacifier easier as she could continue to snuggle with the animal and didn’t feel like we were taking it away completely.
I don’t think I realized that this whole blog post would be me calling myself out, but I was wrong about this too. When our first was born we lived in a small apartment where you could whisper from the back room to the front door and likely hear it. Seemed a little silly to need to have a monitor, much less a video monitor to hear a cry from 10 feet away. But my dad bought it for us and now I’m hooked. I think being able to watch and not only hear the baby was hugely beneficial. Our daughter is an excellent self-soother and it may be because we never felt the need to rush to her rescue at the sound of the first peep. Sometime she would just play in her crib or babble, which was awesome to be able to watch from the monitor. We still have the cameras in her room and use the monitor to talk to her or watch her play. She knows it’s there too which I think she likes. The specific one we use is the Summer Infant Color monitor which allows you to speak to the cameras and can switch between up to 3 different cameras. The switch feature will be nice with the kids are in separate rooms but we won’t have to carry 2 monitors around with us.
This last “must have” has nothing to do with helping babies sleep but in my opinion was helpful to learn.
With Harper we used an infant “click” car seat. It worked but I never loved it. I had a c-section with her and carrying that carrier was difficult. To make matters worse we lived in a 3rd floor appt without an elevator. It made me HATE going out with the baby alone. She out grew it by one anyways and had to get a new car seat. This time around we are using a convertible car seat from the start. Fits babies weighing 4lbs to 120 with like 5 configurations, all up to safety codes. We used Gracco Forever Car Seat. Easy to install and clean. Downfalls will be winter (we will have to bundle him up more as we can’t use the car seat cover) and some people use a stroller equipped to use an infant carrier. I actually never used a stroller with this so it wasn’t a major consideration for us, but wanted to put the cards on the table for any mom interested in a convertible/forever car seat.
Besides clothes and basic necessities (bottles, burp cloths, and blankets) these were the only “high priority” items for me to have before this baby is born. Hopefully they are as useful to other families as they were to me! However, if you want to splurge a little I have new favorite online shop, Copper Pearl. It has beautiful designs of blankets, car seat/breastfeeding covers, burp cloths, bibs and more. They are now selling on amazon (not sure if the whole line is or not) but this stuff is so soft and well made. A friend of mine turned me on to it when she gave us some blankets and I am in love!
Thanks for reading TWO PINK LINES