Friday, July 9, 2010

survival tips.

No, I haven't gone all Man vs. Wild on you, I just survived the first three months of my little one's life. And I'm here to tell you how.

I got a bunch of stuff that I thought I NEEDED for the little one. Suggestions from friends, family, bloggers, etc., and I quickly figured out that what worked for one child, well, probably wouldn't work for mine. Seriously, it's so trial and error that it's ridiculous.

The following products are what worked for us. They might not work for anyone else, but suggestions from others helped me, so I'm passing my hard worked for knowledge on down the line.

Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle Swing

I initially wanted the Graco Sweet Peace swing because I had heard such great things about it, but I was most excited about the fact that you could put a Graco carseat in it. Well then we went with a different stroller system and the swing no longer made as much sense. And then our Target and Babies-R-Us here in town didn't have the Graco and since I'm a "need it now" kind of shopper, I couldn't wait on an online order. Fortunately, a friend of mine had the Fisher Price swing that she'd bought for her daughter and her daughter had hated it, so it was given to us.

Baby Girl LOVES this thing. When she first came home, we'd wrap her up and put her in there and it would instantly calm her down and put her to sleep. Now that she's older, she can only go in there when she's calm and sleepy. Otherwise she tries to pull herself up and ends up all folded up in it. Not a happy baby. If she's calm though, she'll sit in there and just look around or cat nap. She's also a huge fan of the mirror at the top. She's kind of vain like that. =) This thing would calm my screaming newborn in no time flat. I thought about marrying it for a while there..

Chicco Cortino Travel System

Love, love, love my stroller. It was a little bit more than some of the others we looked at, but it is worth every single penny. It couldn't be easier to put the seat in the car. It literally clicks right in to the base. It also couldn't be easier to put the seat in the stroller. Clicks right in. (Seeing a pattern here?) It can be folded with one hand and unfolded with one hand. Although I can't do it, but Mr. Perfect can. Apparently I'm weak. The only things I don't like is, 1) the basket underneath it is ridiculously small and I can't fit the diaper bag down there and, 2) I hit my feet on the bar when I'm walking. But I seem to be the only one that does this and I know a lot of people with this system so... The good far outweigh the not so good with this stroller though.

Dr. Browns Bottles

We've only used these bottles, so I can't tell you how they are different from other kinds, but BG likes them and we have minimal spitting up so they're a-ok in my book.

Summer Swaddle Blanket

So at first BG hated to be swaddled. She would bust out of every single blanket we swaddled her in and wake herself up with her movement. After much advice from my friend Emily on the benefits of swaddling and how it worked for her, I went digging for this contraption which I had been given at a shower. Love at first use. I do not find it a coincidence that we started using the swaddle blanket at the exact same time that BG started sleeping through the night. We were given a fleece one of these blankets, but went and got a light weight cotton one since it so hot where we live, and we haven't stopped singing it's praises since. The velcro on this kept BG from busting out and she sleeps so soundly. It also has just enough give that she can stretch a bit if she needs too. Just these past two weeks, I've gone to wake her and found she's gotten her arms out and that she's at the opposite end of the crib. I'm thinking she's starting to get over the need to be swaddled and I'm dreading that day like the plague.

Bright Starts Activity Gym

We actually pulled this out pretty early and even when she couldn't do anything but stare at it, BG loved this. She would just sit and stare at the toys and especially the mirror (that vain thing again!). Then she started batting at all the toys and it opened up a whole different level of entertainment for her. Now she's pulling on them and pulling herself up and hitting them hard enough to start the music and she loves it. She will seriously play on this thing forever. She just now has started pushing herself off of it when she gets bored. I would say this was definitely one of the best gifts we received hands down.

Fisher Price Comfy Time Bouncer

BG loves this chair. This was another lifesaver when she was really little and wouldn't quit crying. I'd pop her in this and set it to vibrate and she would be out in two minutes. We set this chair up by the back doors so she can look out in the yard. A lot of the time, I take the toy bar off because she's not too interested in that, and she'll just sit in the chair and look around. I also (shhh..) will set it up on the bed in the morning and let her watch country music videos while I get ready. Or a Baby Einstein dvd. This is another purchase though, that now that she's older, she needs to be calm to use or she doesn't want to sit still and be belted in.

My only problem with this chair is that we'd usually take her out if she got upset, and when you're dealing with a crying babe, the last thing you think about is turning off the vibration feature. So our little chair would vibrate for days without us thinking about it. The battery life was amazing, we didn't have to change them for over 2 months, but I still wish it had a sensor or something or a timer on the vibrating feature. Little thing but I always thought about it.

Boppy Pillow

Excellent for nursing mom's. This thing also became my go to pillow after she nursed and we fell asleep on the couch. Under my head it went. Then we started using it for tummy time and it worked excellent for that. Now it's sitting in her closet, but I fully expect to pull it back up for her to sit in when she gets a little better at sitting up.

Bottle Drying Rack

One of our must haves. We don't have a ton of bottles, so they get washed A LOT. They hardly ever even make it to the cabinet. They dry on this and then get used again. Although, make sure you get one that will sit on the edge of the sink and drain. They make some that don't which I think is stupid. Standing water can't be good.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste

Baby Girl hasn't had a lot of problems with diaper rash, but does get a little red every now and then. I'd put this on at the first sign of redness, and it would be gone by the next diaper change. Not kidding. I love this stuff.

We use Pampers Swaddlers size two diapers (no problem with the Dry Max yet and it's the only kind she hasn't leaked out of so far) and Pampers Sensitive Wipes. She lives in Carter's rompers during the day to play in and I love those. They are so precious. We went and bought a wipe warmer because I was sure I would need it, and we hated it. The wipes wouldn't come out one at a time and we couldn't keep it plugged in (the cord was weird) so it now sits in the top of her closet. She has never minded the cold wipes thank goodness. I also swore she'd need a bottle warmer, but we never got one and have never needed it. We warm up b*reastmilk in hot water and she drinks formula at room temperature. I know some people have loved those two purchases, but our babe just never needed them.

This is just a list of what worked for us. In no way, shape, or form am I saying this will be what your babe needs, but these worked for us. BG is very good at letting us know what she likes and doesn't like so this is her personally endorsed list!


Jennifer said...

This was such a helpful post! We got the same travel system, but we haven't used it yet since baby isn't due for another month. But tonight I plan on reading the directions.

We haven't received a swing, but we registered for the one you have. I've heard mixed things about some babies really liking swings and some not. I wish we could try one out before purchasing it!

A.B. said...

We registered for MANY of the exact same things and I can't wait to see what does and doesn't work. We also inherited the same swing from my sister. My nephew hated it. Here's hoping our baby falls blissfully into dream land/vanity affair :)

Laura said...

Very helpful! I'm glad to hear she liked all of these things because we have many of the same things. We have a Chicco stroller/carseat set and the main reason we decided to use that one over the others was how easy it was to put the car seat in the stroller and on the base. The other ones you had to struggle more.

My sister actually gave me that same activity gym thing too! Her daughter is too big for it now, but when we went to pick it up she would drag it over to me and hand it to me (she's just over a year old by the way). Then she would just sit on it while it was in the plastic. We opened it up finally and she would chew on everything! lol. She's teething though...figures. She really liked the mirror though. She'd laugh every time she saw herself in it.

We've also got the butt paste and boppy...just awaiting to use it! I'll have to keep those bottles in mind though. We have several right now that were passed on to us again as well as a few new ones. We figured we would try out a variety and then choose whichever one worked best!

As for the swaddle blanket...totally want one! I had a baby class the other day and we watched a video on swaddling and it was amazing how fast the babies calm down and just fall asleep once you put them in the swaddling thing and turn them a certain way. I was mesmerized. Now I want to buy the swaddle blanket soooo badly!

Sorry I commented like an entire story on bad!


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